Dubai private sector companies showed signs of improvement in February but job creation halted, according to local bank Emirates NBD’s economy tracker.
Data from the report showed sharp rises in output and incoming new work, with the latter expanding at the fastest rate in two years, but the economy’s overall score declined from 57.1 in January to 56.2 – its weakest score in three months.
Wholesale and retail was the best performing category for the first time in six months, followed by travel and tourism. Construction activity slowed in comparison from 55.4 to 53.3.
Score below 50 signal economic contraction and above 50 economic growth.
“The February Dubai Economy Tracker survey continues to show robust expansion in Dubai’s non-oil private sector. Strong growth in output and new orders, which points to solid GDP growth in Q1 2017, is not being reflected in higher employment however, and competition continues to weigh on selling prices,” said Khatija Haque, head of MENA research at Emirates NBD.
Employment during the month remained unchanged ending seven months of job creation.
Companies said they were optimistic about the year ahead with those in travel and tourism the most upbeat followed by wholesale and retail.