Dubai: As with the wider UAE economy, Dubai’s private sector businesses saw encouraging gains on output and new orders during August. And more pertinently, there were good tidings on new job creation as well. according to the Emirates NBD tracker.
The overall gains were in line with that recorded for June and July. But there is still much to be done on the employment side of things.
“Output and new orders have increased sharply, although this has not translated into significant jobs growth,” said Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD. Wholesale and retail had the best run during August (with an index reading of 56.3), followed by construction (55.8) and travel and tourism (55.1). A reading of below 50.0 indicates that the non-oil private sector economy is generally declining.
The overall improvement in the “health of Dubai’s private sector reflected another sharp increase in business activity in August despite slowing slightly from the preceding month. The rise in output was attributed by respondents to improved demand conditions.
Inflows of new work orders rose for the 18th consecutive month. “The rate of expansion was sharp and above the long-run average, but slower than the preceding month,” the report adds. “Good quality products and promotional activities supported strong market demand, according to anecdotal evidence.”
But output prices rose only the second time in 13 months during August. “An increase in output prices in the travel and tourism sector offset the reductions seen in the construction and wholesale and retail sectors,” the report notes. “Where an increase was registered, firms linked this to the passing on of higher cost burdens to clients, while firms that reduced output prices associated this with intensive competitive conditions.”