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Saudi business activity rises to 3-month high

Growth in business activity in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector reached a three-month high in November, boosted by faster growth in new orders, output and employment, according to a survey published on Monday. The SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures activity in the kingdom’s manufacturing and services sectors, rose to 58.1 in November, its highest level since August, from 56.7 in October. The seasonally adjusted index for Saudi Arabia continues to hold above the 50 mark which separates growth from contraction.

The survey of more than 400 private companies showed new order growth rising to 67.7 points in November, the highest since July, from 64.7 in October. Employment in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector also rose in November, to a three-month high of 51.7 from 50.1 in October.

Saudi Arabia is being affected by weak economies in Europe and the United States but firm global oil prices, as well as multi-billion dollar projects announced this year to upgrade infrastructure and create jobs, have been supporting growth. Many companies said in the survey that they had benefited from the strong performance of Saudi Arabia’s construction industry. New export work rose at a slower rate, with some firms saying political tensions in the Middle East and North Africa and economic problems in Europe had undermined demand.


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