KHALEEJ TIMES, Thursday, Oct 10, 2019 | Safar
Dubai's non-oil sector grows as sales pick up
Emirates: Dubai's non-oil
private sector strengthened in September on the back of a solid increase in
The IHS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), released on Wednesday,
increased to 52.6 points last month from 51.7 in August. It rose for the first
time in four months.
However, the latest figure was still among the lowest recorded over the past
three years, signalling a relatively modest improvement in business conditions
at non-oil companies.
The survey results found that output volumes increased at a slower rate than
those seen earlier in the year. But the pace of expansion was faster than in
August, in part due to some firms boosting their marketing activity. Attention
was also directed at reducing outstanding business, which fell for the first
time since January 2016. The overall contraction was only marginal though.
IHS Markit said new order growth at Dubai firms softened over the course of
September, to indicate the fourth successive monthly slowdown in demand. While
sales increased at a solid pace overall as a number of panellists mentioned that
strong competition once again limited new orders from clients.
The index is derived from individual diffusion indices which measure changes in
output, new orders, employment, suppliers' delivery times and stocks of
purchased goods. The survey covers the Dubai non-oil private sector economy,
with additional sector data published for travel and tourism, wholesale and
retail, and construction.
Anita Yadav, CEO of Century Financial, said the survey represents a very small
of the emirate's economy as it excludes government entities and the bulk of
businesses are owned by the government.
"So we are talking about a small segment because a large of businesses are owned
by the government. Yes, this is a small private non-oil segment showing little
growth. It is a survey which is generally forward looking," she said.
David Owen, economist at IHS Markit, said Dubai's PMI remained relatively
subdued in September, despite rising from the three-and-a-half year low in
August. "Sales growth slowed further as companies faced tough market
competition, leading to another reduction in output prices. Activity growth did
improve, but was still weaker than observed in the first seven months of the
year," he said.
"The slowdown led to a further weakening in the level of sentiment towards the
one-year business outlook. That said, most firms are still optimistic that price
discounting will encourage greater sales in the future, while continuing to
mention the positive impact that Expo 2020 is likely to have on the local
economy," Owen added.
Dubai's trade in IT,
telecoms doubles in 10 years
Dubai almost doubled its foreign trade value in IT and telecom industry over the
past decade, recording a growth of 97 per cent from Dh117 billion in 2009 to
Dh231 billion in 2018, statistics released by Dubai Customs showed on Wednesday.
In the first half of 2019, trade in IT and telecoms went up three per cent
year-on-year to reach Dh118 billion compared to Dh114 billion in the
corresponding half last year. Imports accounted for Dh60 billion, exports were
up 15 per cent to Dh875 million, and re-exports up 8 per cent to Dh57 billion.
China is Dubai's largest trade partner in IT and telecom market with a share of
Dh32 billion, followed by Vietnam with Dh15 billion worth of trade and Saudi
Arabia at Dh9 billion.
Smart and cell phones had the lion's share in Dubai's foreign trade in IT and
telecoms with Dh66.6 billion worth of trade.
Computers came second at Dh9 billion, followed by phone spare parts and
accessories at Dh2.8 billion, data storage products at Dh1.7 billion, and smart
TVs at Dh1 billion.
"Dubai's strong trade performance in IT and telecom market is a testament to the
pivotal role the emirate is playing as a leading regional and global hub of
information and communications technology," said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director
General of Dubai Customs.
Trade in IT and telecoms products is a key component of global trade and a major
contributor to wider economic growth worldwide, Musabih added.