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UAE businesses buoyed by rising demand in April

Abu Dhabi by night: the UAE non-oil sector is optimistic about continued growth Unsplash/Kamil Rogalinski
The UAE has pledged to invest up to $30 billion in the Asian country
  • PMI survey revealed 30% of firms saw new orders pick up
  • Improving trade drives confidence towards future activity
  • Economy forecast to grow at 3.3% in 2023

The UAE witnessed its fastest growth in new business for 18 months in April spurring a rise in non-oil business activity across the country.

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for April hit 56.6, up from 55.9 the previous month, the highest in six months and just short of the post-pandemic peak of 56.7 recorded in August last year.

The sub-index for new orders rose to 59.9 last month from 56.2 in March, attributed largely to domestic demand.

“The UAE PMI rose for the third month running in April to signal an even stronger rate of expansion across the non-oil economy, driven by rapidly increasing new orders and retreating inflationary pressures,” said David Owen, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The business survey revealed that 30 percent of businesses in the country saw new orders pick up compared to March.

Strengthening demand conditions contributed to improvements in purchasing and confidence levels during April. 

On the purchasing side, the data signalled a steep increase in input buying that was much sharper than in the previous month. 

“This supported a robust uplift in total inventories that was only slightly weaker than March’s five- year high,” the report said.

Employment numbers also increased in April, although at a slower rate compared to the seven-year record reported in March.

The survey revealed increased optimism among UAE businesses, reaching the highest level for seven months, buoyed by improving economic conditions, increased construction activity and greater marketing spending.

“Rising demand and rapid capacity improvements helped to drive confidence towards future activity higher for the fourth successive month and to its strongest level since September 2022,” added Owen.

The UAE economy, the GCC’s second biggest, is forecast to grow at 3.3 percent in 2023, down from the 4.1 percent foreseen in October.

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