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Saudi Arabia non-oil business activity at 17-month high

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Staff Writer | February 7, 2017
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit rose from December’s 55.5 to 56.7 in January.
Saudi Arabia
Saudi   The highest value since August 2015
This is the highest value since August 2015. As a result, the index remains comfortably above the 50-threshold that indicates expansion in business activity in the non-oil producing private sector.

January’s improvement reflected a robust expansion in output and new orders. Business sentiment benefited from better economic conditions and rising foreign demand.

Despite the overall improvement, staffing levels grew only slightly.

On the price front, higher input prices led to an increase in charges for the third month in a row.

Overall, analysts at Emirates NBD see the rise in the PMI as “an encouraging start to the year.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see fixed investment rising 1.8% in 2017, which is down 0.8 percentage points from last month’s estimate.

For 2018, the panel expects fixed investment to increase 4.1%.