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Qatar firms boost hiring to clear backlogs 

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO of QFC Authority Qatar Financial Centre
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO of QFC Authority, said demand for financial services has grown steadily
  • PMI tracker from QFC and S&P Global moderates in June
  • Total business activity rises 
  • Demand for financial services accelerates for third month running

Business conditions in Qatar’s non-oil private sector continued to improve in June, according to a report by Qatar Financial Centre and ratings firm S&P Global. 

The financial services industry was the biggest beneficiary.

Rising employment helped firms “reduce their levels of outstanding business” and smooth supply chains, the report said. 

However, cost burdens rose – as they have every month this year so far – as a result of higher inflation.

The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) from the two organisations showed that total business activity, and new business, rose sharply.

Firms linked rising demand to tourism, competitive pricing, additional marketing initiatives and their reputation among clients. 

The PMI indices are compiled from survey responses from 450 private sector companies.

The headline figure for June eased to 53.8, from 55.6 in May, but remained well above the long-run trend of 52.3, indicating “another strong improvement in business conditions”. 

Over the second quarter as a whole, the figure has stood at an average of 54.6, the best performance since the third quarter of 2022 (55.3) in the run-up to the Fifa World Cup.

The rate of expansion of new business moderated since May but was among the fastest recorded over the past year.

New business growth in financial services accelerated to a ten-month high. 

“Financial services expanded sharply, with its headline indices for activity and new business registering 60.0 and 63.4, respectively,” Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, chief executive of Qatar Financial Centre Authority, said. 

“Demand for financial services has accelerated for three straight months as finance remains among the leading sectors.” 

Growth in output in general was a strong contributor to the latest index figure.

Output has risen every month for more than three years except for January 2023 following the conclusion of the World Cup. 

New orders also rose in June, while employment levels and stocks of purchases were strong.

With an uptick in hiring, supplier delivery times continued to be cut and vendor performance saw the biggest increase this year, according to the tracker. 

Yet with the rate of inflation remaining “slightly above the long-run survey trend”, costs for businesses have risen.

Prices charged for goods and services fell for the fourth time in six months, and at the fastest rate since February 2022. 

“Companies continue to face rising costs but were nonetheless able to reduce their own prices charged further to attract new sales and retain high profile customers,” Al Jaida said.

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