Private sector business booms in August

Dubai’s private sector performance spiked in August, the latest Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker has revealed.

Expansion in business activity was evident with the private sector output index rising to 57.6, the highest reading since May.

It marks five-and-a-half years of continuous expansion for the private sector economy, according to tracker records.

New business (new work and order growth) accelerated rapidly, with this index at its highest level since February, while job growth mirrored a similar pace to that of July.

Business activity picked up across all three sectors surveyed – construction, travel and tourism and wholesale and retail trade.

The strongest rebound was evident in the construction sector, with the output index rising to 58.0 in August, up from 53.4 in July.

Activity in the wholesale and retail sector also grew more strongly with the index hitting 56.1 compared to 51.7 the previous month.

In the travel and tourism sector, the output index nudged up to 52.6 in August compared to 50.5 in July. This sector’s performance was more modest because August is the traditional low season in Dubai, said the tracker.

Growth in new business and employment opportunities was most impressive in the construction sector, which was also the most optimistic about future orders over the next 12 months with the index marked at 71.2.

In the travel and tourism sector, although the pace of output and employment growth was relatively moderate in August, new business development was extremely healthy, said NBD’s tracker report, with optimism remaining “well above the neutral level” and the business expectations index reaching 60.0.

"The rise in business activity in August is encouraging, and suggests that at least some of the slowdown over the previous two months was due to Ramadan,” said Emirates NBD chief economist Tim Fox. “Year-to-date, the Dubai Economy Tracker suggests that the pace of growth in Dubai has been robust. Business optimism about future growth remains high.”

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