Dubai: Though at a gradual pace, new jobs are starting to get added in Dubai's private sector, including key ones such as construction and retail.
This comes about as the private sector growth numbers are starting to show some sustained momentum, according to the Emirates NBD Dubai economy tracker index. For July, it was showing a reading of 56.3, and broadly similar to June's 56.5. The latest index reading is also above the long-run trend of 55.2.
By sector, wholesale and retail (with an index reading of 57.9) was again the best performing category, followed by travel and tourism (56.3) and the construction sector (54.8). But even within these growth sentiments, operating numbers remain tight, especially on the profit side.
According to Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, "While the headline index continues to reflect strong growth in the non-oil economy in July, firms’ margins continue to be squeezed as they lower selling prices, particularly in the trade and hospitality sectors.”
Even then, the positive overall trend for business conditions was supported by a sharp increase in output. The rise in business activity was attributed by panellists to favourable economic conditions and more projects.
On the sentiment side, business confidence has increased from June’s 10-month low, but still weaker than the "overall level of positive sentiment recorded on average in the series history. Optimism was firmly rooted in expectations of further improvements in demand, supported by promotional activities."
When it comes to business costs, input prices rose for a 17th successive month. The rate of inflation eased from June’s three-month high, is still marginal.