UAE: PMI eases in December
The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 55.6 in December, down from November’s 55.9. As such, the index remained entrenched above the 50-threshold, signaling a softer improvement in business conditions from the previous month.
Output growth hit a nearly two-and-a-half-year high, while new orders growth also remained robust, albeit easing to a three-month low. This came amid Expo 2020’s boost to spending and tourism. That said, employment and stock levels grew only marginally and suppliers’ delivery times decreased at the fastest rate since July 2020, dampening the overall figure somewhat. Input prices rose sharply, due to a rise in the cost of fuel, energy, and raw materials. Amid the outbreak of the Omicron variant, firms’ optimism dropped to a three-month low.
On the reading, IHS Markit’s David Owen commented:
“The next few months may prove more challenging […] depending on how the Omicron variant impacts worldwide travel and local restrictions. Businesses also face the prospect of higher inflation, after the latest data indicated the fastest rise in purchase costs for nine months due to an increase in energy and raw material prices.”