Business activity growth in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector slowed slightly in October from a 29-month high in the previous month, with both output and new orders decelerating, a purchasing managers’ survey showed on Tuesday.
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, dipped to 56.3 points in October from 56.6 in the previous month.
The adjusted index remains above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed.
“The headline number may be down on the September high, but the underlying data remains strong,” said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC.
“Production and new orders are continuing to gain, employment is up and inflation still looks benign. I remain confident that the economy will perform well into the year-end.”
UAE firms saw output growth fall to 56.4 points in October from 57.9 in September. New orders were at 64.6, down from 65.0 in September, which was the strongest level in the survey’s 51-month history.
Growth in new export orders, however, picked up to 58.9 points, the quickest pace in the series history.
Employment creation across the UAE’s non-oil private sector slowed moderately to 52.7 points in October.
Output price growth slipped into negative territory after four months of modest growth, registering 49.0 points in October. Input price growth slowed slightly to 54.2 points.
Consumer price inflation in the UAE, the world’s No. 3 oil exporter, held steady at a two-year high of 1.3 percent on an annual basis in September for the fourth month in a row, government data showed last month.