Bloomberg / Dubai
Business activity in Dubai rose to the highest level since late 2019 after a rebound in tourism and a fast distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
The private sector, excluding oil, grew for a fifth-straight month in April, according to IHS Markit. Its Purchasing Managers’ Index for the Middle East’s main business hub rose to 53.5 from 51 in March, staying above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction and signalling significant economic expansion.
“The recovery in the Dubai non-oil economy sped up in April, as output and new order growth returned to pre-Covid trends and business confidence strengthened,” said David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit. “Travel and tourism firms recorded the most notable bounce in performance, amid increasing hopes of a rise in tourism activity later in the year, boosted by the rapid vaccine roll-out.”
n Dubai’s PMI was at the highest level since November 2019.
n Growth in sales was the quickest since October 2019.
n An index tracking new orders showed the biggest increase in a year and a half, lifted by business optimism about the coming year.
n Firms raised their output for a fifth month, as the rate of expansion accelerated to the highest since July 2020.
n Staff numbers increased for three out of the last four months, showing efforts to rebuild capacity.
n The outlook for the year ahead improved, with positive sentiment rising to the highest since March last year. Still, business confidence remained below the series’ average.
In the overall United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, business conditions have also been improving. Inoculation efforts in the Arab world’s second-largest economy and a recovery in oil prices have led to a rebound following last year’s downturn.
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