Saudi busi­ness ac­tiv­ity hits record high

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

JED­DAH: Saudi Ara­bia's non-oil pri­vate sec­tor busi­ness ac­tiv­ity climbed to its high­est level to date on a record out­put in­crease, sharp rise in new or­ders and ro­bust em­ploy­ment, a pur­chas­ing man­agers' sur­vey showed on Mon­day.

The SABB HSBC Saudi Ara­bia Pur­chas­ing Man­agers' In­dex (PMI), which mea­sures the per­for­mance of the Opec mem­ber's man­u­fac­tur­ing and ser­vices sec­tors, rose to 62.2 points from Oc­to­ber's 59.9, its high­est level since the se­ries be­gan in Au­gust 2009.

'They are very strong read­ings,' said Simon Wil­liams, chief econ­o­mist for Mena at HSBC Bank in Dubai.

'The cur­rent out­put num­bers are ex­cep­tion­ally strong and what is par­tic­u­larly en­cour­ag­ing is that the read­ing for new or­ders is strength­en­ing as well which sug­gests that the pick up in out­put is likely to con­tinue,' he said.

The sea­son­ally ad­justed in­dex is hold­ing well above the 50 point mark that sep­a­rates growth from con­trac­tion.

The pri­vate sec­tor of the world's top oil ex­porter saw out­put lev­els reach a se­ries record of 71.8 points in Novem­ber, af­ter 68.7 the pre­vi­ous month. New or­ders in the top Arab econ­omy grew at its fastest rate in five months, ris­ing to 68.1.

The sur­vey of more than 400 pri­vate com­pa­nies also showed that Saudi em­ploy­ment in­creased in Novem­ber at the sharpest rate since June as firms hired ex­tra staff to help with new or­ders.

Saudi un­em­ploy­ment stands at around 10 per­cent and the govern­ment is try­ing to spur pri­vate sec­tor growth and cre­ate more jobs for its grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of over 18 mil­lion lo­cals. Pur­chas­ing and wage costs con­tin­ued to rise, al­though at a slower pace than in Oct, sur­vey said, sig­nalling that in­fla­tion could con­tinue to rise. -PB News

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