Dubai business activity softens in June

10 July, 2018 12:00 AM printer

DUBAI: Business growth in Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy eased in June from a 40-month high in May, but the overall pace of expansion remained strong as business confidence touched a record high, according to Emirates NBD’s latest economy tracker.

“The wholesale and retail trade sector performed particularly well last month, which may have been partly due to the Eid holidays,” Khatija Haque, head of Mena research at Emirates NBD, said in the report released on Monday, report Agencies.

“The sharp improvement in business conditions in the construction sector supports our view that infrastructure investment will be an important driver of economic growth this year.”

The UAE lender’s seasonally adjusted Dubai Economy Tracker Index – a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy – fell to 56.0 in June, from 57.6 in May. Despite the drop, the index remained at a level “indicative of a marked expansion above the historical average”, Emirates NBD, the biggest bank in Dubai by assets, said.

A reading below the base line of 50 indicates that the non-oil private sector economy is shrinking; above 50 is a sign of economic expansion. Wholesale and retail sector was the strongest performer in June at 58.6, followed by construction at 57.1 while travel and tourism sectors both reached 54.9 points. The overall decline last month reflects easing travel and tourism growth momentum, the lender said.

“Despite the decline in the headline index in June, new work and output both increased at a sharp rate, reflecting strong demand,” Ms Haque said. Business confidence accelerated in June to the highest level seen since the survey began in 2012, amid a strong pipeline of new project orders and work outstanding.

Businesses surveyed reported favourable conditions and strong inflows of work. Although slightly below the levels recorded in May, it was above the long-run average – contributing to the phase of rising output that began in March.