Slowing down? UAE PMI at a 4 month low
According to the survey, growth in business activity in the UAE' non-oil private sector slipped to a four-month low in December as output and new order growth eased and employment stagnated.
January 4, 2012 2:25 by Reuters
“The UAE is back” is a sentiment that most wish to be true, but findings from a purchasing survey suggest the sentiment might be quite far from the truth. The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the performance of the OPEC member’s manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 51.7 points last month from 52.5 in November.
According to the survey, growth in business activity in the UAE’ non-oil private sector slipped to a four-month low in December as output and new order growth eased and employment stagnated.
“The UAE economy may still be expanding, but another weak PMI score strongly suggests that growth has continued to lose momentum,” said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC. “Given how troubled the global outlook is, the UAE is unlikely to pick up pace over the first months of 2012.”
In December, UAE firms saw solid output growth but the rate of increase moderated to a three-month low, the data showed. Total new order receipts also rose at a weaker pace, reaching 56.0 points after 56.2 points in the previous month.
Non-oil private sector employment stagnated last month for the first time in the survey’s 29-month history, with the index coming in at 50.0. Overall input price pressures cooled in December after picking up over the previous two months. The latest increase was the weakest since February, reflecting a slower rise in purchase prices as well as a slight decline in staff costs.
Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said in mid-November that the UAE could grow about 4 percent this year if effective steps were taken to support the European and U.S. economies, but that local growth would be around 3 percent if those economies remained unstable.
(By Martina Fuchs)