STOCK Dubai Economy / Travel / UAE Economy/ Emirates / Tourism
Industry events continue to hold sway in Dubai, and benefits from these filter across multiple sectors. It's all showing up in the April PMI reading. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai based businesses were sitting pretty at the end of April as new orders rose at the second quickest rate in around 4 years, according to the latest PMI data from S&P Global. And consumers too were well served, as selling prices went through a sharp drop, and the biggest monthly drop since October 2019.

There are more signs that inflation costs on businesses and shoppers are easing. More of it should be reflected in the current month’s numbers, as transportation costs are heading for a drop. During April, prices paid by consumers and clients saw a major drop.

What’s more, Dubai businesses are hiring at ‘elevated rates’, and on this too there are signs of new jobs being created in multiple sectors, notably industrial and construction. Tech jobs too are on the steady path, industry sources say.

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"Supporting growth were sustained efforts by firms to build inventories in the light of a promising demand outlook, as well as recruiting staff to support higher workloads," said David Owen, Senior Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. "Firms have been helped by a subdued cost environment, although survey data suggests that savings are being directly passed to customers in the form of lower charges.

"In fact, prices charged fell at the quickest rate in three-and-a-half years in April."

April's PMI reading

Last month, the PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) showed 56.4 and up from the 55.5 in March. The index signals a 'robust improvement in business conditions across the non-oil economy, and one that was sharper than the series' trend (since January 2010)', S&P Global said. "(PMI reading is based on composite details such as the level of new business activity during a month, hiring trends, prices, etc.. Any score over 50 is rated as good for businesses and the wider economy.)

The rate of growth accelerated 'rapidly' in April to the highest in eight months and the second-quickest since mid-2019.

  1. Around 29% of survey respondents saw an expansion since the previous month, compared to just 4% that noted a decline.
  2. New clients, lower prices and increased market activity all served to drive sales volumes higher.
  3. The improvement in growth was led by travel and tourism and wholesale and retail, where 'upturns reached the sharpest recorded for eight and six months, respectively'.
  4. Momentum in the construction industry waned, as new work rose only modestly and to the least extent since last November.

"The (overall) upturn meant that business conditions grew at one of the fastest rates since mid-2019, as new business intakes increased to a much sharper degree than in March and activity levels rose more quickly," said Owen.