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RIYADH: Sales growth in Dubai’s non-oil sector hit a 38-month high in August, while output rose at the sharpest rate for just over three years, S&P Global reported.

The sales increase was encouraged by firms reducing output prices thanks to a reduction in expenses, according to the US-based analytics firm.

The non-oil private sector reported a fall in overall input costs for the first time in 19 months during August, driven by a moderation of fuel prices following recent inflationary trends.

The Purchasing Managers Index — a measure of business activity and performance in the non-oil sector — increased to 57.9 in August from 56.4 in July to its highest reading since June 2019. 

Among the three key sectors of Dubai, travel & tourism showed the highest growth in August, followed by wholesale & retail.

David Owen, an economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: “The latest PMI data suggested that input costs at Dubai non-oil businesses had swiftly changed their direction in August, falling for the first time since the start of 2021 and at the quickest pace since the survey began almost 13 years ago. 

“Recent drops in commodity prices helped to ease the burden on companies, particularly through a moderation of fuel prices.”

The upturn encouraged renewed stockpiling of inputs and a pick-up in employment growth to the highest for eight months, S&P reported. 

The rate of job creation was the fastest seen in the year to-date. The weakening outlook for future activity, which dropped to the second lowest so far in 2022, was one factor that kept job creation low.

Surveyed firms cited headwinds to the global economy from high inflation, despite some positivity that domestic consumer demand will continue to improve, partially due to lower fuel prices.

Business expectations slipped to the weakest since May, amid uncertainty surrounding the global economic outlook.

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