x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

HSBC launches purchasing index

The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) has been unveiled and is the first of its kind in the Middle East tracking the performance of manufacturing, retail and services sectors.

While the prospects for the property market remain somewhat clouded, the manufacturing, retail and services sectors are offering a ray of light, according to a new industry index launched today, which shows growth in output and new orders. The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) has been unveiled and is the first of its kind in the Middle East tracking the performance of manufacturing, retail and services sectors.

It features economic data for the UAE compiled over the past 14 months by HSBC and Markit Economics: in a welcome dose of good news the index shows private-sector business growth is at a 10-month high for the Emirates. Simon Williams, the chief economist for the MENA region at HSBC, said: "The headline index is at its highest since November 2009 and it is encouraging that the gains in the score are being driven by growth in both current output and new orders."

Output growth at private-sector companies picked up last month, reaching its highest level since April. Total new order receipts increased at the steepest rate for nine months. The index is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives at about 400 private-sector companies across manufacturing, services and the retail sectors. The PMI is used across the world to gauge manufacturing performance.

An index reading above 50 indicates an overall increase in activity and below 50 an overall decrease. The reading for the UAE last month was 52.6. tarnold@thenational.ae