Activity remains robust overall but output and new orders soften during November - report
Growth in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector slowed to a six-month low in November as output and new orders softened, but activity remained robust overall, a survey of companies has showed.
The seasonally adjusted SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers' Index slipped to 57.6 points in November from 59.1 in the previous month. A score above 50 points shows growth in activity while lower scores show contraction.
Companies surveyed said demand had slowed and competition had increased, but market conditions were still positive overall. Growth in Saudi Arabia's economy is closely tied to government spending, which has been rising in recent years.
New orders growth fell to 64.7 points from 65.4 points in October, while output dropped to 60.3 points from 64.1 points. The rise in new orders and output were the slowest since May and March respectively.
Staffing hires increased for an eighth successive month, but at 52.5 points represented the slowest rate since July. However, new export orders accelerated to 59.3 points in November from 58.1 points in the previous month.
Output price inflation was modest, with the index down at 51.2 points in November from October's 52.8 points, while input costs edged up slightly to 53.8 points from 53.5 points.