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Non-oil business sector in UAE grows at slowest pace in 40 months

PMI data point to weaker domestic and external demand in Q4 2015

The UAE’s non-oil private business growth fell close to a 40-month low in December.

The UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sector in the UAE, fell to 53.3 in the past month compared with 54.5 points in November, said Emirates NBD.

The PMI is adjusted for seasonality and any reading above 50-point level indicates that companies are expanding, reports UAE-based Aliqtisadi.

Commenting on the Emirates NBD UAE PMI, Khatija Haque, head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, said: “The PMI data point to weaker domestic and external demand in Q4 2015, which is reflected in lower readings for new orders, employment, output and the backlogs of work.”

She adds: “Indeed, for 2015 as a whole, the average PMI was lower than for 2014, signalling slower – but positive – growth in the non-oil private sector.  However, softer non-oil growth in the UAE in the past year is likely to have been partially offset by robust oil sector expansion and we remain comfortable with our estimate of 4.0 per cent real GDP growth in 2015, down from 4.6 per cent in 2014.”