Source: Dow Jones Newswires
DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)–Non-oil private sector business activity in the United Arab Emirates strengthened in September, compared to the month earlier, as new orders rose at the sharpest rate in 15 months, underlining the country’s resilience to a gloomy global economic backdrop, HSBC said on Wednesday.
HSBC said its purchasing managers index, or PMI, rose to 53.8 in September, from 53.3 in August. A reading above the neutral 50 level indicates the economy is expanding.
“It’s a positive reading that suggests the U.A.E. is one of the few economies in the world where private sector growth is accelerating rather than losing pace,” said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East & North Africa at HSBC.
Total new orders rose at the sharpest rate in 15 months, HSBC said, while new export orders increased for the twenty-eighth month in a row, albeit at a marginally stronger rate than in August. Staffing levels expanded during September as companies responded to greater production requirements.
“I’m still concerned by the U.A.E.’s reliance on export demand, and by the rate of employment growth which is still disappointingly slow. But for now the economy is showing resilience and with new orders strengthening, there’s good reason to expect the U.A.E. to maintain momentum into the year end,” said Mr. Williams at HSBC.
HSBC’s PMI index, the first of its kind to be published in the Gulf, was compiled with data provider Markit and based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in approximately 400 private sector companies.