The UAE non-oil private sector saw an upturn in April as output, new business and employment improved, according to Emirates NBD.
The bank’s purchasing managers’ index, produced by IHS Markit, rose to 55.1 from 54.8 the previous month as business conditions improved above the survey’s nine-year average.
However, the expansion remained muted compared to a peak seen in December.
Output growth hit a three-month high linked to stronger inflows of new business and there was an improvement in new orders from the domestic and foreign markets.
Job creation also improved from a 17-month low in March but demand continued to place pressure on operating capacity with the strongest rise in backlogs of work for 32 months.
“The improvement in business condition in the UAE in April was driven by strong output and new order growth, including a recovery in export orders. The rise in employment and selling prices, although modest, is also encouraging,” said Emirates NBD head of MENA research Khatija Haque.
Firm in the country’s non-oil private sector saw costs increase overall during the month linked to rising raw materials prices and higher staff wages. This resulted in companies increasing output charges for the first time since the startof the year.
Survey respondents also appeared more positive in April than March, with rising business confidence linked to expectations of an economic upturn, new product launches and improved marketing strategies.