Riyadh – Mubasher: Growth in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector accelerated in August to its fastest rate in the last three months of this year, helped by stronger output and new orders growth, according to a recent survey sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit.
The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) advanced to 55.1 in August from 54.9 in July, with a reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The survey data indicated an increase in output growth across the non-oil private sector, growing to 59.7 last month from 58.8 in the month before, while growth of new orders jumped to 59.0 from 58.5.
In the same vein, export orders marginally grew in August on the back of higher domestic demand supported by firms’ promotional activity, the survey found.
Employment growth was also relatively modest in August, as only 2% of surveyed firms in the non-oil private sector reporting increased hiring. Wages remained unchanged on average last month.
“The survey data suggests that the pace of non-oil private sector growth in the Kingdom has accelerated in the last three months, relative to the first five months of the year. Nevertheless, the rate of expansion so far in 2018, measured by the average PMI reading for January through August, is markedly weaker than for the same period last year, and in fact the slowest on record,” Khatija Haque, head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, said.
Overall, the non-oil private sector firms “were optimistic about their future output, with 17% of firms expecting their output to be higher in a year’s time. However, this is a slightly lower percentage than in July,” she added.