Paolo Soro

Dubai private sector gains hold steady in September

Travel and tourism gains help compensate for downbeat wholesale and retail.

Dubai’s private sector experienced a fairly strong improvement in business conditions during September, as monitored by the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index, which closed at 55.1 points. This was slightly lower than August 55.7, but still above the 50 no-change threshold.

“On average in the third quarter of 2016, the headline index signalled the fastest upturn in operating conditions across the non-oil private sector economy since Q1 2015,” Emirates NBD reports. The gains in the private space were led by the travel and tourism sector, which compensated for the slower rate of expansion in the wholesale and retail trade. The construction sector sentiments remained subdued.

“The decline in the Dubai Economy Tracker index in September was only marginal, and overall the third quarter average indicates a faster pace of expansion compared to Q1 and Q2,” said Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD. “Output and new order growth remains strong although company margins remain under pressure as firms reduced prices to secure new work.

“The rebound in the travel and tourism sector in September is encouraging, although it probably partly reflects the impact of the Eid holidays.”

Interestingly, the latest date also suggests staffing levels increased for the third month running during September, thereby “signalling a continued rebound in recruitment since June”, the report finds. “However, the rate of employment growth remained marginal and weaker than the long-run survey average.

“Some firms noted that a lack of pressure on operating capacity had acted as a brake on job creation at their business units.”

Source: Gulf News

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