Business activity in Dubai slows down in October, index says

Dubai business activity dropped in October as construction remained subdued.

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A gauge for private-sector activity in Dubai fell last month to its lowest since April, as improvements in tourism and retail were outweighed by subdued growth in construction.

The UAE purchasing managers’ index (PMI) declined last month compared with September, falling to 53.1 from 55.1, Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, said.

Travel and tourism was the best performing category, recording a reading of 54.8 on the index, closely followed by wholesale and retail at 53.3. Construction, however, stood at 51.8.

The bank did not give corresponding figures for the sub indexes for September. The Dubai bank sponsors the monthly survey of business conditions in the UAE’s non-oil private sector by Markit, a financial information services company.

A reading above 50 indicates that the non-oil economy is growing, while a reading below 50 suggests that it is contracting.

“The softer reading for the Dubai Economy Tracker in October is consistent with what we’ve seen at national level, and comes off a strong third-quarter performance,” said Khatija Haque, the head of Middle East and North Africa research at Emirates NBD.

“Although the headline indices are lower, output and new work growth remains strong and we remain comfortable with our forecast of 3.5 per cent economic growth in Dubai this year.”

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