Saudi Arabia: Non-oil PMI improves in September
October 5, 2020
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, increased to 50.7 in September from 48.8 in August. Consequently, the index came in above the 50-threshold, indicating improving business activity in the non-oil private sector over the previous month.
September’s result reflected stronger output, new business and exports, while employment levels fell at the softest pace since March. The reading marked the first expansion since February—prior to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures—that being said the expansion was modest and likely tied to the VAT, which weighed heavily on businesses’ purchasing activity in August.
On the price front, input costs rose at a marginal rate, while output inflation was also modest in September.
David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit, commented that:
"Business activity in the Saudi Arabia non-oil private sector ticked up in September, supported by a return to sales growth as the economy started to find its footing after the COVID-19 lockdown. Despite some businesses continuing to see a drag from ongoing restrictions, most companies saw market conditions improve.”
Author: Steven Burke, Economist