Dubai: The end-of-year promotions certainly worked for Dubai's retail sector, helping it record the biggest gains for private sector businesses during December. The construction sector also perked up during the month, which should come as some relief for the hundreds of businesses dependent on it.
But job losses still remain a worry, according to the latest monthly update from IHS Markit.
In December, "Employment numbers continued to fall as sentiment for the upcoming year was still subdued," a report issued by the agency said.
"Businesses noted that the after-effects of the pandemic will continue to be felt across the non-oil sector, particularly as hiring remains weak and containment measures continue to stem export demand," said David Owen, Economist at IHS Markit.
But December did provide a lift of sorts. Private sector companies recorded a "strong rise" in activity and a "faster increase" in new work. They also didn't have to face much by way of cost pressures, which led to a "further drop in selling prices", though at the slowest rate since May.
And yet depressed
On the whole, "Firms continued to present a highly subdued outlook for business activity, despite some confidence that the confirmed effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines should help a global economic recovery in 2021," Owen added.