Saudi Arabia: Non-oil PMI stabilizes in April
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, was unchanged at March’s 56.8 in April. Therefore, the index remained well above the 50-threshold that indicates expansion in business activity in the non-oil producing private sector.
April’s reading reflected strong expansions in output and new orders, which likely benefited from a decline in selling prices and improving domestic market conditions. In fact, selling prices fell at the fastest pace in almost 10 years in April. Despite the increase in business activity across Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector, private sector employment remained sluggish on the back of stronger competitive pressures and attempts to keep costs in check.
Looking forward, Khatija Haque, head of MENA research at Emirates NBD, commented that:
“Business confidence towards future output rebounded strongly from a six-month low in March to show one of the highest degrees of optimism over the past five years.”