By Andy Sambidge
HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers Index rises to highest mark in its 57-month survey history
Business activity growth in the UAE's non-oil private sector rose for the third-straight month in April, with the rate of job creation at its highest level for four years.
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, increased to 58.3 points last month from 57.7 in the previous month
The latest reading was the highest in the 57-month survey history.
April data signalled a second consecutive record rise in activity with both total new order orders and new export orders increasing at sharp rates.
Sharp output and new order growth boosted the headline PMI in April, with the respective rates of expansions the highest and joint-second highest on record.
Activity rose amid reports of increased order intakes and improving market conditions, while higher sales team efforts and a good economic environment were the main reasons behind the strong rise in new business
The rate of growth in new export orders accelerated since March and was only fractionally weaker than February's series high.
Survey respondents cited Middle East countries and China as sources of export growth
The survey said stronger demand led to the latest solid rise in employment levels at the UAE's non-oil private sector companies, with 15 percent reporting increased workforce numbers. Payroll numbers rose to the largest extent since late-2009.
On the price front, input cost inflation eased to the weakest in nine months amid reports of a slower increase in purchase prices. Staff costs, meanwhile, rose to the greatest degree since December
Commenting on the survey, Simon Williams, chief economist for Middle East & North Africa at HSBC, said: "The UAE economy is in full swing, led by booming Dubai. The risks of overheating will come sooner rather than later, but for now the UAE is in the sweet spot of its economic cycle - strong growth, firm employment and inflation that is only starting to rise."