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Tue 4 Nov 2014 10:48 AM

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UAE business activity jumps to highest level since 2009

Survey of 400 private sector firms reported sharp gains in new orders and output

UAE business activity jumps to highest level since 2009

Business activity growth in the United Arab Emirates' non-oil private sector rose to a record high in October, helped by sharp gains in new orders and output, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, jumped to 61.2 in October, the highest level since the series began in August 2009, from 57.6 in September.

The adjusted index is far above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction in the survey of 400 private sector firms.

"The pick-up in price pressures captured in this month's data is of concern, but the dominant story is one of a UAE economy in full growth mode," said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC.

"The performance is all the more impressive given the decline in oil prices over the same period, and the continued downturn in emerging markets elsewhere."

UAE firms saw output growth accelerate to an all-time high, with the subindex coming in at 66.1, up from 63.2 in September. The new orders subindex rebounded to 69.9, also the highest on record. However, growth in new export orders slowed again to a nine-month low, with the subindex reading 57.4.

Employment creation across the UAE's non-oil private sector accelerated, raising the subindex to a record high of 56.1 in October from 52.6, with almost 17 percent of firms recruiting new staff.

Output prices rebounded from negative territory with the index at 52.8 in October, the highest since June 2011 and up from 49.8 a month before. The subindex on input price inflation rose to 56.6, the fastest pace since May 2012.

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