DUBAI, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Growth in the United Arab Emirates'
non-oil private sector eased to a three-month low in November as
the surge in new orders lost a little steam, a survey showed on
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the
performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, edged
down to 53.7 points last month from 53.8 in October.
The adjusted index remained well clear of the 50-point mark
that separates growth from contraction in the survey of 400
private sector firms, although the headline reading was well
below that of neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
"Given the weak global backdrop, this is another strong
reading that puts the UAE non-oil economy firmly in expansionary
territory," said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle
East at HSBC.
"The strong new orders and new export readings are
particularly encouraging and point to an economy not only
showing growth but well placed to maintain momentum," he said.
UAE firms' output index eased to 53.5 points in November,
the lowest since March, from 54.3 in October.
The new orders index dipped to 60.1 points from 60.3, but
the pace of growth remained robust.
The expansion in new export orders held steady at 56.7
points last month, the highest since May 2011, the survey also
"Despite the sustained pickup in activity, the PMI shows the
economy operating well within capacity; as a result, the upward
pressures on prices and wages remains moderate," Williams said.
Employment growth across the UAE's non-oil private sector
moderated in November, sliding to an eight-month low of 51.6
Manufacturers and services had to lower their output prices
again in November due to stiffer competition, with that index
falling below 50. But growth in input prices slowed to 53.3
points - the weakest level since November 2010.
Consumer price inflation in the UAE, the world's No. 3 oil
exporter, slowed to 0.5 percent on an annual basis in October,
according to government data.
Last month, Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri
forecast 2012 economic growth of 3.5-4 percent and a 2013
expansion of about 3.5 percent.
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(Reporting by Martin Dokoupil; Editing by Hugh Lawson)