UAE sees strongest third quarter of non-oil activity in two years

An improvement in the global economy is boosting tourism and real estate

DUBAI,UAE - DECEMBER 9: A general view of Dubai Canal at night on December 09, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Rustam Azmi/Getty Images)
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Non-oil business activity in the UAE had the strongest third quarter in two years on the back of strong growth in output and jobs, a key economic gauge for the second biggest Arabian Gulf economy showed.

The UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS market, showed the average PMI for three months ending September 30 was 56.1, the strongest since the third quarter of 2015 when it was at 56.3. For the month of September gauge slowed to 55.1 from 57.3 in August as the pace of expansion dipped from the four-month high recorded in August.

"Although the headline purchasing managers index eased slightly in September, the average reading for the third quarter was the highest in two years, underpinned by strong growth in output and new work," said Khatija Haque, the head of Middle East and North Africa research at Emirates NBD.

"The survey suggest that economic growth accelerated last quarter, and that domestic demand remains solid, despite relatively modest jobs growth."



While there was a decrease in new orders from abroad, the data suggested that orders from the domestic market rose. Meanwhile, the level of employment continued to rise in September, the seventeenth month in 2017, even though it eased slightly in August. As in previous months this year, companies said that they had dropped selling prices to attract buyers.