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UAE private sector activity rises to 3-month high

Business activity in the UAE’s non-oil private sector rose to a three-month high in May as growth in new orders improved, a purchasing managers’ survey showed on Monday.

The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, grew to 55.3 points last month from 54.0 in April.

The adjusted index remains above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed.

“The UAE is proving to be impressively resilient, gaining speed even as other emerging markets have softened,” said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East at HSBC.

“I expect activity to slow into the summer months, but the good readings for new orders and employment suggest the underlying economy is well placed to maintain momentum, and that any moderation will be muted,” he said.

UAE firms saw output growth rise to 55.8 points in May from 55.4 in the previous month. New orders were at 61.2 points, up from 58.3 in April.

Growth in new export orders recovered to 53.7 points last month from a nine-month low of 51.8 points in April, the survey also showed.

Employment growth across the UAE’s non-oil private sector was unchanged at 53.3 in May.

Output prices dropped further below the 50 mark to 48.3 points in May, the weakest reading since March 2010 and the third monthly contraction in a row. Input price growth eased to a four-month low of 53.2 points from 53.6 in April.

Consumer price inflation in the UAE, the world’s third-biggest oil exporter, eased to 0.9 percent on an annual basis in April, government data showed last month.

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