Business activity in the non-oil private sectors of the Arab world’s two biggest economies continued to improve in August, with output growth driving the fastest rise in employment in the UAE since January 2018.

Saudi Arabia’s IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index indicated continued momentum in the kingdom’s non-oil economy, albeit at a slower pace. The index fell to 54.1 in August from 55.8 in July. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion while anything below points to a contraction.

Business activity in Saudi Arabia has steadily improved in the past 12 months, as its economy bounces back from the pandemic-driven slowdown.

The latest data indicated a sharp growth in new business in August, although as was the case with output, the rate of growth slipped from July.

“The non-oil economy went slightly off the boil in August, as output growth slipped to the weakest level for 10 months amid a slowdown in new business gains,”…

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