Dubai PMI posts sharp surge hitting 33-month high

Performance linked to the Expo 2020, relaxed pandemic measures
Dubai PMI posts sharp surge hitting 33-month high
Aerial view of the Sheikh Zayed Road

Dubai’s non-oil sector performed robustly during March, rounding off another strong quarter in which relaxed pandemic measures and the Expo 2020 have brought increased economic activity and tourism demand.

March PMI data indicated a further surge in growth across the Dubai non-oil economy, as output picked up at a marked rate in response to stronger new business intakes.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey surged to 55.5 in March, its highest level since June 2019, rising from 54.1 in February for the second month in a row.

The findings reflect non-oil private registering the best performance in 33 months.

Production climbed at a notable rate in March, according to the data, which was matched by an increase in client demand.

The index covers Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy and provides additional data focusing on travel & tourism, wholesale & retail, and construction.

David Owen, an economist at S&P Global, said output growth in Dubai’s travel and tourism, and construction sectors also quickened to the highest since June 2019, with the latter driven by a strong drive among contractors to complete outstanding projects.

Wholesale & retail activity likewise rose to a greater extent than in February, he added.

“The global surge in commodity prices due to the war in Ukraine had an impact on Dubai businesses during March, with costs rising at the quickest rate in three months,” noted Owen.

He observed that while some firms opted to pass these expenses onto clients, the urge to support sales growth meant that average selling prices continued to fall.