The UAE’s purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 57.7 in March 2014 from 57.3 a month earlier, recording the second-highest reading in the series history and stretching the current sequence of improvement to 55 months, a survey compiled by Markit Economics for HSBC, showed on April 3.
The March PMI also signalled a further solid rise in activity at the UAE’s non-oil private sector firms, with the rate of expansion accelerating to the quickest on record, the pollster underscored. Output increased during March, with the pace of expansion speeding up to the highest since data collection began in August 2009.
Order intakes also rose markedly in March with the growth rate being the second-sharpest in the series history. Increased new business was supported by improved market conditions, higher construction work and greater sales team efforts, Markit noted. Meanwhile, new export orders also rose sharply, despite the easing from February’s record-high. Such parameters boosted purchasing activity in March. The increase in input buying was the most marked since data collection began in August 2009, Markit said. Employment growth sustained in March but the rate of job creation was virtually unchanged since February and indicative of a modest expansion.
Backlogs of work rose at the second-sharpest rate in the series history, implying ongoing pressure on operating capacity in the UAE’s non-oil private sector.
As to prices, overall input charges increased at a slightly faster pace than in February, according to Markit. But staff cost inflation accelerated to a three-month high in March due to higher prices for some raw materials. Increased living costs also helped lift average salaries in March, Markit noted.
In response to increased input costs, companies in the UAE’s non-oil private sector increased their charges for the fourth straight month in March.
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