RIYADH: The UAE non-oil private sector ticked higher in April to its highest since mid-2019, the latest IHS Markit PMI survey showed.
The index nudged up to 52.7 compared to 52.6 in March supported by a strong rise in new business volumes and a sharp expansion in output that were linked to a continued economic recovery from COVID19.
Employment fell for the third month in a row, however, contributing to a renewed increase in backlogs of work.
Output charges increased for the first time in over two-and-a half years. The mark-up was reportedly driven by rising input costs that reflected global raw material shortages and higher transport fees.
The index was above the 50.0 threshold for the fifth month running and at its highest level since July 2019.
The largest contributor to the headline PMI is the New Orders Index, which in April indicated a sharp increase in new business inflows.
Surveyed firms reported that market conditions had generally improved due the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and strengthening business confidence.
Firms also saw a rise in new export orders, although the upturn was more modest than that of total sales, suggesting that demand growth was mainly domestic based.
“The UAE non-oil economy remains on the right track to a recovery from COVID-19,” said IHS Markit Economist David Owen.
“The rate of improvement in operating conditions was still below the 12-year survey average, reflecting further pandemic-related disruptions for a number of businesses and sectors,” he added.
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UAE PMI up in April to highest level in 21 months