UAE’s non-oil private sector economy remained unchanged in November

Workforce numbers fell at the slowest rate in nine months, according to IHS Markit

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , Jan 06  – 2020 :- Clouds over the Dubai Skyline taken from Al Jaddaf area in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For News/Standalone/Instagram

The UAE non-oil private sector economy remained unchanged in November from the previous month due to the coronavirus-induced global economic slowdown, however job numbers declined at the slowest rate in nine months.

The headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit UAE Purchasing Managers' Index – a composite gauge designed to give a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy – remained at 49.5 in November, below the 50.0 threshold for the third time in four months.

A reading above the neutral 50 mark indicates economic expansion, while anything below points to a contraction.

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The sector continued to suffer from weak demand which, despite a partial recovery, is reportedly still much softer than prior to the Covid-19 pandemic

“Despite a partial recovery, [the non-oil sector] is reportedly still much softer than prior to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.

"Sales trends did pick up, but only enough to reverse a fall in business volumes seen in October. Firms were hindered by a renewed fall in exports as global markets suffered from rising Covid-19 cases and lockdowns in some regions, including Europe."

New orders grew during the month, but only slightly. Some companies directly linked higher sales to discounts offered in November, as firms hoped that price cuts would revive market demand.

Though private sector employment dropped in November, extending the decline since January, the fall softened as some surveyed firms recalled previously-employed staff, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, purchasing activity slowed in November as businesses had unused inventory, while purchase prices fell for the first time since April, according to the survey.

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