UAE: Non-oil private-sector conditions improve sharply in March
The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbed to a five-month high of 55.9 in March, up from February’s 54.3. As such, the index moved further above the 50.0 no-change threshold, signaling a robust improvement in non-oil private sector operating conditions from the prior month.
March’s upturn was broad-based. The employment sub-index posted the best reading since July 2016. The onboarding of staff was motivated by improving demand conditions, which led to new orders expanding at the strongest pace in five months. Consequently, output levels also rose at a healthy pace in March. However, delays in staff onboarding prompted outstanding business volumes to increase.
Turning to prices, input prices rose for a second consecutive month in March, but the overall inflation rate was modest. As such, output charges were reduced marginally in a bit to attract new customers. Lastly, firms’ sentiment improved to a five-month high amid expectations of a continued improvement in operating conditions in the coming year.