Dubai’s business condition accelerated last month as easing travel restrictions and the expo 2020 exhibition helped the city’s key tourism industry.
According to HIS Markit’s Purchasing Manager’s Index for the Middle East, the rating has 55.3 in December from 54.5 in November, staying above the 50 mark that separates growth from the contraction and hitting the highest level since June 2019. Employment also jumped in one of the strongest expansions since the start of the pandemic.
Still, Businesses continue to battle as input price inflation accelerated to the highest since March. And the uncertainty about the pandemic as Omicron has taken hold late last month, which made many firms less optimistic for the year 2022 with just 12% confident of growth this year.
Before the rise of the Omicron strain, the UAE has managed to keep cases under control. However, the covid cases started rising above 2000 for the first time in the past six months.
- Firms were concerned with how Omicron would impact new business and travel
- Companies cited improvement in local sales with consumer confidence growing
- Travel and tourism led sales growth followed by wholesale and retail
- Output in the non-oil economy increased at a sharp pace
- Higher raw materials prices often discouraged buying activity, and firms also noted increased energy prices
- Average prices charged by non-oil businesses dropped for a sixth straight month, but the pace of decline had slowed