Business activity in the Arab world’s two largest economies improved at the start of 2021, with the United Arab Emirates seeing growth in its job market.
Non-oil private sector activity in Saudi Arabia soared during January as new work levels increased and operating conditions improved in the UAE, helped by an expansion in new orders and output.
Purchasing Managers’ Index surveys compiled by IHS Markit last month for the two Gulf nations were above the threshold of 50 that separates growth from contraction. “The rapid roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in the UAE should help to restore confidence in markets over the first half of 2021, as employment edged into positive territory showing that firms are gaining more confidence to expand their operating capacity,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.
Saudi Arabia’s PMI rose to 57.1 in January. Index rose to the highest in 15 months, driven by a faster pace of
expansion in output.
Better market conditions, an increase in online sales and more export demand contributed to the upturn.