Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector registered its fastest growth rate in 11 months in November, according to a recent report sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit.
The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 55.2 in November from 53.8 in October, marking the highest reading this year, the report said. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that signals contraction.
However, the year-to-date average is lower than it was for the period between January-November 2017, Khatija Haque, head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, said.
Output growth recovered last month after seeing a six-month drop in October on the back of stronger demand for goods and services.
“The main impetus continued to come from the domestic market, with new export orders rising only marginally and at a much slower rate than total new business” the report found.
As for the cost, there were slight increases in purchase prices and average staff pay, as competition among suppliers coupled with relatively low demand for new staff contributed to keeping a lid on inflationary pressures.
The report highlighted that business confidence towards the year-ahead outlook for activity remained strongly positive.
“Firms remained strongly optimistic about their output in the coming year, citing planned new products, increased marketing and more competitive prices; however, the ‘future output’ index slipped 2 points in November from the October peak,” Haque added.