Saudi Arabia: Non-oil PMI dips slightly in May but remains strong
The Riyad Bank Global Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) fell to 58.5 in May from April’s 59.6. As such, the index remained entrenched above the 50.0 no-change threshold, signaling a softer, albeit still strong, improvement in non-oil sector operating conditions from the previous month.
Output and new orders continued to grow at fast paces, despite slowing slightly from the past month. Survey panelists linked the continued upturn to tourism and rising business investment. In addition, employment grew at the second fastest-rate since the beginning of 2018. Meanwhile, rising wages caused input prices to rise sharply, which in turn caused output inflation to accelerate. Finally, business sentiment fell to a one-year low amid rising competition, but remained optimistic amid continued support from the government’s diversification policies.