UAE non-oil private sector growth dips to five-month low: report

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-05 15:58:52|Editor: Jiaxin
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DUBAI, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Growth of the UAE non-oil private sector eased in February with business conditions improving at the weakest pace since September last year, said Dubai's biggest bank Emirates NBD in a study released by e-mail on Monday.

The lender said in its monthly analysis, the sector's slowdown was largely reflective of a marked easing in output growth, alongside softer job creation.

Job creation continued in the non-oil private sector, thereby extending the current sequence of employment growth to 22 months, it said.

But the rate of growth eased to its slowest since June 2017 and was subdued in the context of historical data, noted Emirates NBD.

"Weaker growth weighed on business confidence, which registered at a six-month low after falling sharply since the start of 2018," said the report.

Nevertheless, demand conditions remained strong during February, as indicated by steep new order growth and the third consecutive month of rising new export business, added the bank,

Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, said "the February PMI survey shows a solid rate of growth in the UAE's non-oil private sector, although it was slower than we've seen in recent months."

Haque added "the key components of the survey point to strong domestic demand but firms were notably more cautious than they were in January about the prospects for output growth over the coming 12 months."

The survey, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, contains original data collected from a monthly survey of business conditions in the UAE non-oil private sector.

The economy of the UAE, a major global oil supplier, is based 71 percent on non-oil businesses, while 29 percent is oil.

The government aims to reduce the share of oil in the country's gross domestic product to 19 percent by 2025.

Being aware of current economic headwinds, the UAE cabinet in Abu Dhabi decided last week not to raise government fees for three years in order "to attract more foreign investments and promote economic stability."