UAE: PMI soars to highest level in over four years in May
The Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 59.4 in May from 57.6 in April, the highest reading since October 2014. As a result, the index stayed firmly above the 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the non-oil producing private sector.
The stellar reading in May came on the back of the fastest increase in output and new export orders on record, with export orders particularly driven by strong demand from Saudi Arabia and Oman. Price discounting also supported the overall demand picture for businesses, with selling prices falling for the eighth consecutive month. Although input price pressures were muted in May, firms continued to feel their profit margins pressed, and, as such, employment growth was barely existent in the month. Looking ahead, businesses remained very optimistic about future output in May, with optimism only marginally edging down from April’s record high. In tune with high business confidence, inventory stocks rose to the highest level in over one year in May as firms geared up for more sales.