The UAE’s non-oil private sector logged a slight loss in growth momentum in December, as output and new orders rose at slower rates amid a fall in foreign demand, survey results from S&P Global showed on Wednesday.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to 54.2 in December from 54.4 in November. However, a score above 50 indicates expansion.
The reading signalled a robust improvement in the health of the non-oil sector, albeit one that was the softest since January.
Both output and new orders grew at the weakest pace since September last year. While domestic demand improved, weak global economic conditions weighed on the expansion, as new export business fell for the first time since August 2021.
Companies added workforce numbers in a cautious way in December, as job numbers rose at the softest rate in eight months and only marginally overall.
On the price front, cost burdens eased slightly due to improved input availability and a stabilisation of wage costs. Output charges fell for the eighth consecutive month as firms continued to seek additional sales through price promotions.
Expectations for future output fell to their lowest level since February 2021 due to increased concerns about the global economic outlook.