Dubai's pri­vate sec­tor busi­ness slows in Feb

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

DUBAI: Pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies in Dubai sig­nalled de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in over­all op­er­at­ing con­di­tions in Fe­bru­ary for the first time in six years as global un­cer­tainty and low prices con­tin­ued to weigh on ac­tiv­ity. How­ever, an im­proved level of op­ti­mism was ev­i­dent to­wards the one-year busi­ness out­look among Dubai pri­vate sec­tor firms. Emi­rates NBD Dubai Econ­omy Tracker data sig­nalled a re­newed de­cline in over­all busi­ness ac­tiv­ity across Dubai's pri­vate sec­tor.

"Though only mod­est, it was the first time that ac­tiv­ity had fallen since Jan­uary 2010. All three key sub-sec­tors noted mod­est de­clines in ac­tiv­ity dur­ing Fe­bru­ary, led by travel and tourism com­pa­nies. Anec­do­tal ev­i­dence gen­er­ally linked re­duced busi­ness ac­tiv­ity to weaker mar­ket con­di­tions and fewer new or­ders," the bank said. Data shows that pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies in Dubai raised their work­force num­bers only slightly in Fe­bru­ary, as has been the case in each of the past three months. A num­ber of mon­i­tored busi­nesses men­tioned that staff hir­ing had been damp­ened by softer growth in new work.

The sur­vey data also sig­nalled a re­duced amount of new busi­ness in Dubai's pri­vate sec­tor dur­ing Fe­bru­ary. "It was the first time that new or­ders had de­clined in just over six years of data col­lec­tion. Com­pa­nies that re­ported lower new busi­ness gen­er­ally com­mented that an un­cer­tain global eco­nomic out­look and fall­ing oil prices had made clients more un­will­ing to com­mit to spend­ing. New busi­ness fell across all three mon­i­tored sub­sec­tors in Fe­bru­ary and, in line with the trend for ac­tiv­ity, travel & tourism saw the fastest re­duc­tion in new work." De­spite a gloomier over­all eco­nomic pic­ture, Dubai pri­vate sec­tor firms ex­pressed an im­proved level of op­ti­mism to­wards the one-year busi­ness out­look in Fe­bru­ary.

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