Saudi Arabia: Non-oil PMI ticks up in April
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, increased from 53.3 in March to 55.2 in April. Consequently, the index moved further above the 50-threshold, where it has been for the past eight months, indicating improving business activity in the non-oil private sector.
April’s stronger expansion reflected faster growth in new orders, which was underpinned by a sharp rise in export sales due to improving demand conditions in Asia. Moreover, employment levels increased for the first time in five months in April and at the quickest pace since late 2019. Furthermore, output increased at the fastest rate since January 2021. On the price front, both input and output prices rose due to increased freight charges, which firms passed on to consumers.
David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit, commented:
“Despite a boost to demand, the business outlook weakened from March as fewer respondents projected that output would grow in the coming 12 months. Current concerns among businesses included a possible further wave of COVID-19 that could exacerbate issues with foreign travel.”