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Economy

Saudi Arabia's business gauge slowed to five-month low in July

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Export orders rose at the quickest pace since February 2017, but there was only a marginal increase in employment and businesses surveyed reported lower optimism over future output.

Tuesday 06, August 2019

A measure of activity in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector dropped in July for the first time this year, hitting a five-month low in a sign that economic growth was losing momentum at the start of the third quarter, reported Bloomberg.

The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 56.6 after reaching a 19-month high of 57.4 in June.

Phil Smith, Principal Economist at IHS Market, said, “Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector started the second half of the year growing at a healthy rate, however, the survey’s indicators for output, new orders and future expectations are all signalling some loss of momentum compared with the second quarter.”

The Kingdom has struggled to get its economy back on track since it contracted 0.7 per cent in 2017, an after-effect of the oil price rout and austerity measures that hit businesses hard.

Second-quarter budget data showed that a long-promised injection of government cash was finally materialising as officials try to boost growth. Gross domestic product is expected to grow 1.7 per cent this year.

TAGS : non-oil private sector, business gauge, austerity measures

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