Dubai’s non-oil private sector witnessed a slow growth during December, as the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index, an indicator of the non-oil private sector’s performance, tumbled to 54.7 points in December from 55.3 points in November.
The wholesale and retail topped the non-oil private economy sectors, with 54.9 points, followed by the construction sector with 53.5 points, while travel and tourism sector experienced the slowest improvement in business conditions, registering 51.2 points, Emirates NBD’s data showed.
While the 50-point level is the index’s benchmark, a reading below that level would indicate that the non-oil private sector economy is declining, while a reading above the benchmark would reflect an expansion in the sector.
“The decline in the Dubai Economy Tracker index in December is a little surprising, but appears to be broad-based across all the key sectors,” said Khatija Haque, head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD.
The data of non-oil private sector companies operating in Dubai showed the slowest growth in business activity in 20 months, while construction companies achieved the highest production growth during the latest survey period, Emirates NBD revealed.
With regard to job creation in the non-oil private sector, hiring rate was the lowest in seven months, as companies tend to increase their payroll numbers to meet “rising output requirements”, the UAE-based bank remarked.
Despite the declined domestic demand, observers remain optimistic about the business activity, as expectations regarding incoming new projects boost the confidence in the sector.
“Selling prices in Dubai’s non-oil private sector rose during December, thereby ending a three-month sequence of price discounting,” Emirates NBD concluded.