Saudi Arabia: Non-oil PMI rises in April
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by S&P Global, fell to 57.7 in April (March: 56.8). Consequently, the index moved closer to the 50-threshold, suggesting a weaker improvement in business activity in the non-oil private sector relative to the month prior.
The weaker reading was due to slower growth of output and new orders, both of which grew at the slowest pace since January. New orders appeared to be limited by rising output charges and general economic uncertainty stemming from the impact of the war in Ukraine on the global economy. More positively, employment grew at the fastest rate since July 2021 as firms sought to boost output capacity, while stocks of purchases expanded at the fastest pace since December 2017.
David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit, commented on the latest reading:
“[…] A further marked uptick in output prices during April, in light of rising commodity prices and global inflation fears, risks dampening sales further in the coming months. Business confidence in future activity levels was down to a three-month low and one of the lowest ever recorded, indicating a marked degree of uncertainty over whether the current rate of output growth can be sustained.”