The pace of growth in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector eased further at the end of the third quarter, as growth rates of both output and new orders cooled to series-record lows and employment fell, a purchasing managers' survey revealed yesterday.
The Saudi British Bank published the results of the headline SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for September — a monthly report issued by the bank and HSBC.
"The PMI slipped further, reaching a new low of 54.5 (from 57.9 in August). Meanwhile, September data showed a further slowdown in input price inflation," the survey revealed.
"Growth of incoming new business continued to slow during the latest survey period, reaching a new survey low.
Nevertheless, the rate of increase remained strong and panellists commented on a fav-ourable economic environment and new product launches.
"Some companies indicated that government spending had improved business conditions. Overall, new work increased to the greatest extent at medium-sized companies. Meanwhile, new export orders rose at the mildest rate for ten months," according to the survey.
"Expansions in output, buying activity and input stocks slowed further during September, in line with the easing trend in new order growth. In each case, the rate of increase was a series-record low," it added.
Commenting on the survey, Giyas Gokkent, chief economist at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News: "In terms of 2011, we are estimating a real GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate of 5.2 per cent in Saudi Arabia.
"In 2012, we think, the oil sector will not contribute as much to its GDP growth. We are pencilling a real GDP growth of 4.6 per cent for 2012 in Saudi Arabia," said Gokkent.