Saudi Arabia: Non-oil PMI increases in February
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, ticked up to 56.2 in February from 53.2 in January. Consequently, the index moved further above the 50-threshold, suggesting a stronger improvement in business activity in the non-oil private sector relative to the month prior.
February’s acceleration reflected faster growth in demand and output, as falling Covid-19 cases and some easing of supply chain difficulties supported business activity. That being said, export demand remained weak in February, which capped the overall improvement in demand conditions. Furthermore, employment levels ticked up slightly in February, likely supported by stronger business confidence in the month.
David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit, commented on the latest reading:
“Overall sales picked up at the quickest rate since last November, despite a further slight fall in export demand, while activity growth moved closer to the peak levels seen towards the end of last year.”