Saudi Arabia PMI March 2017

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: Non-oil business activity declines slightly in March

April 4, 2017

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit fell from February’s over one-and-a-half-year high of 57.0 to 56.4 in March. Despite the drop, the index remains comfortably above the 50-threshold that indicates expansion in business activity in the non-oil producing private sector.

March’s print reflected that growth in new business and output moderated marginally compared to the previous month’s result. New business was mainly supported by domestic demand as new export orders eased to a four-month low. Tim Fox, Head of Research and Chief Economist at Emirates NBD, added that, “Saudi Arabia's non-oil economy appears to be holding up well amidst ongoing reductions in oil production. Unlike previous periods of expansion however, gains in output and new orders are not being matched by new job growth, while competitive pressures appear to be keeping a lid on the prices firms are able to charge to customers.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see fixed investment rising 1.8% in 2017, which is down 0.8 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2018, the panel expects fixed investment to increase 4.1%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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Saudi Arabia PMI Chart

SaudiArabia PMI March 2017

Note: Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index. Readings above 50 indicate an improvement in non-oil private sector conditions while readings below 50 point to a deterioration.
Source: Emirates NBD and IHS Markit.

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