Business conditions in the UAE’s non-oil private sector continued to improve in February, with a sharp increase in inflows of new work underpinning a robust expansion of output, according to a new survey
Data from the Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed that strong demand conditions and a favourable economic environment encouraged companies to scale up purchasing activity and hire additional workers over the month.
On the price front, average selling prices rose for the first time in almost one-and-a-half years as firms passed on to clients part of their additional cost burdens.
The headline seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE PMI rose to 56.0 from 55.3 in January.
Khatija Haque, head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, said: “The rise in the UAE PMI to the highest level since September 2015 suggests that demand has strengthened, both domestically and abroad. Higher oil prices have likely contributed to improved sentiment and business activity over the last few months.”
New business inflows rose sharply and at the fastest rate since September 2015, which survey participants linked to strong underlying demand and better economic conditions.
With new export orders also expanding markedly over the month, companies raised output further to an 18-month peak.
Greater output requirements encouraged firms to purchase more inputs and hire extra staff, the survey said.
UAE non-oil private sector companies said they expect the favourable economic scenario to be sustained over the coming 12 months, with one-in-five companies forecasting output growth in the year ahead.