Business activity in the UAE picked up “solidly” in June 2020, indicates the latest data from Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – a composite indicator designed to offer an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy.
The headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit UAE PMI rose to 50.4 in June, indicating the first improvement in operating conditions for six months. This is the strongest uptick since October 2019, but still much weaker than the series average, and slight overall.
Relaxation of COVID-19 related restrictions could have led to the UAE non-oil private sector’s return to growth in June. New business picked up at a solid pace, driving the first increase in output since last December.
“At 50.4 in June, the UAE PMI signalled the first stage of recovery in the non-oil private sector. More firms are now seeing an increase in activity as opposed to a decline, while new orders grew at the fastest rate in 10 months. Businesses also saw an improvement in export conditions, as foreign new orders rose for the first time since January, albeit tentatively,” observed David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.
“Despite this positivity, looking at the data over the past few months shows just how large a rebound in output is required to return the UAE economy to pre-COVID levels. Renewed growth in June marked only a slight reprieve from the downturn that reached its peak in April,” he added.