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Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector growth improved sharply in September, driven by a robust gain in new business, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 58.6 in September from 54.1 in August. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

This was the strongest improvement in the reading since the series began 12 years ago and the highest score since August 2015.

Output expanded for the first time in four months in September and business activity improved to the strongest since the beginning of the year.

New business rose at the fastest pace in seven years.

Backlogs of work reduced in September and rate of job creation rose to the quickest since June.

Inputs increased sharply in September and suppliers’ lead time declined.

On the price front, overall input price inflation was the fastest since June and output charges rose for the sixth straight month.

“After two successive falls, the latest reading showed that the economic recovery has stamina, and the relaxation of pandemic measures will release new waves of demand,” David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit, said.


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