UAE non-oil business slows in April as employment stalls
The UAE’s non-oil private sector lost some growth momentum in April as employment growth stalled, a new survey revealed on Tuesday.
The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which covers manufacturing and services, fell to 52.8 points last month from 54.5 points in March. It was also below the first-quarter average of 53.4 points, which was the weakest since the opening quarter of 2012.
“Growth momentum in the UAE slowed a little in April after rebounding in March. External demand remains relatively subdued and firms appear to be reluctant to increase hiring, despite solid growth in new orders and output last month,” said Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD.
“The PMI data year-to-date points to slower, but still positive, growth in the UAE’s non-oil sector, which is in line with our expectation for slower real GDP growth in 2016,” Haque added.
Job creation stagnated in April, dropping from 51.5 points in March to 50.0 points on the PMI, its lowest level since December 2011.
However, the survey found that both output and new orders rose solidly in April, as enhanced marketing strategies and discounted prices helped companies secure new business.
On the other hand, with new business rising and employment remaining unchanged, backlogs of work increased for the fourth straight month in April.