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SABB/HSBC EMI: emerging market growth in Q3 best since Q1 2013

The SABB/HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI surveys, edged up from 52.4 in August to an 18-month high of 52.5 in September. On a quarterly basis, the EMI averaged 52.2 in Q3, the best since the first quarter of 2013.

Latest data signalled that services activity rose at a stronger rate than manufacturing output for the second month running. This was driven by the trend in China, as services activity in Brazil, India and Russia rose at either weak or marginal rates. Among goods producers, those in the Czech Republic posted the strongest growth in September, while declines were registered in Brazil, South Korea and Poland.

New business growth remained close to June’s 15-month peak, but remained slower than the average over the nine-year series history. Consequently, outstanding work declined slightly for the third month running, and employment remained broadly unchanged.

Input price inflation slowed further to a 15-month low in September. Manufacturing continued to record weaker cost pressures than services, and four economies posted outright declines in manufacturing input prices, namely China, Poland, Brazil and South Korea. The strongest rate of manufacturing input price inflation was again registered in Russia, followed by Turkey. Russia also posted the strongest rate of service sector input price inflation.

September data signalled a return to output growth at South African private sector companies. The pace at which activity rose was the sharpest in 21 months, with study participants commenting on increased order intakes and improved conditions in the mining sector.

PMI data showed that new business in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy rose at the strongest pace for 28 months in September, amid strong demand for goods and services. Notably, construction was reported by several panellists to be a key area of demand growth.

Activity in the UAE’s non-oil producing private sector rose at the fastest pace since June during September, with companies commenting on increased order intakes.

September data signalled a further improvement in the health of Egypt’s non-oil private sector, with output and new orders rising sharply. Higher business requirements in turn encouraged companies to take on additional workers, resulting in the first rise in staffing levels in nearly two-and-a-half years. Meanwhile, inflationary pressures eased, with both input and output prices rising at weaker rates.