Business activity growth in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector fell to a four-month low in September as gains in new orders slowed despite increasing output, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, dropped to 57.6 points in September from a record high of 58.4 points in August.
The adjusted index remains well above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed.
“Numbers continue to indicate we are in a good stage in the economic cycle. Output continues to grow while price pressures remain under control,” said Razan Nasser, senior economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC.
UAE firms saw output growth accelerate to a three-month high of 63.2 points in September from 62.2 points in August. However, new orders growth dropped to 64.0 points, the lowest rate since August 2013, from 66.4 points the previous month.
Growth in new export orders also slowed to a four-month low of 60.9 points from 64.0 points, which was the highest level since the series began in August 2009, the survey showed.
Employment creation across the UAE’s non-oil private sector slipped to 52.6 points, the weakest growth since January.
Output price growth slipped into negative territory again after one month in positive territory. The rate of input price inflation eased to a four-month low of 54.4 points.