Saudi Arabia: Non-oil PMI increases again in September
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, rose from August’s 57.0 to 57.3 in September. Although the index remained above the 50-threshold that indicates expansion in business activity in the non-oil producing private sector, it was below the long-term survey average.
September’s reading reflected strong growth in output, which hit a nearly two-year high, and solid new business from both domestic and overseas markets. Robust demand prompted job creation to jump to an 18-month high in September and accelerated purchasing activities. On the price front, higher purchasing and staff costs led to an increase in input prices. Despite moderating slightly, business confidence remained strong in September.
Looking forward, Amritpal Virdee, Economist at IHS Markit, commented that:
“October data will provide the first opportunity to gauge the impact of the recent attacks on the critical oil processing facilities in Abaqaiq and Khurais on the wider economy. […] At current levels, the PMI survey is consistent with year-on-year GDP growth of around 3% as we head into the final quarter of 2019.”