Non-oil economy of UAE picks up amid job market stagnation

Dubai’s biggest bank Emirates NBD said Tuesday that non-oil private sector of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which saw in May its weakest improvement in six months, regained momentum in June though prospects in labour market remained bleak.

The lender said the headline seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a survey-based indicator designed to give an overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy, climbed from May’s six-month low of 54.3 to 55.8 in June (a value above 50 points to an expanding non-oil economy and vice versa).

Meanwhile, problems existed elsewhere as employment stagnated. The rate of job creation eased to an eight-month low to signal a broad stagnation in employment.

Khatija Haque, Head of Middle East and North Africa Research at Emirates NBD, said “The rise in output and new orders in June is encouraging, although we note that firms continued to reduce selling prices on average in order to support demand and order growth.”

However, new export orders fell for the first time in seven months as demand from international markets reduced, said the report.

Ms. Haque added “The survey also highlights lack of employment growth despite strong increase in new work last month. Overall however, the PMI data for the first half of 2017 supports our view that the non-oil sectors have grown at a faster pace relative to first half of 2016.”

Oil contributes just 29 percent to the UAE’s economy as the Gulf state has the second most diversified industry in the region behind Iran. The biggest non-oil sectors of the country are trade, logistics, tourism and real estate.


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