The United Arab Emirates' non-oil private sector continued to expand in September as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East trade and tourism hub remained strong, although job creation slowed, a business survey showed on Tuesday, Trend reports with reference to Reuters.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which covers manufacturing and services, dipped slightly to 53.3 in September from 53.8 in August, remaining well above the 50.0 mark that separates growth from contraction.
Coronavirus-related restrictions last year hurt vital sectors such as tourism, retail trading and transportation.
But the non-oil economy has been expanding since December on the back of a pick up in demand and a loosening of travel restrictions. The Gulf state is also set to get a boost from the Dubai Expo world fair, which began on Oct. 1.
"With the Expo 2020 beginning, the UAE economy appears in a good shape," said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.
"The PMI ticked down to 53.3 in September but still pointed to a strong improvement in non-oil business conditions, as firms continued to see a recovery in demand from the pandemic. A loosening of global travel measures helped to support the rise in new business."
Output levels at surveyed firms expanded in September although growth moderated from August, which saw the strongest output in over two years.
New orders ticked up in September, signalling a strong rise in sales, with some businesses citing higher footfall, price reductions and contracts linked to Expo.
UAE firms continued to hire for the fourth consecutive month but the rate of job creation slowed and was marginal.
After a 6.1% contraction last year, the UAE economy is expected to grow 2.1% this year and 4.2% in 2022, the central bank has said.