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Dubai’s private sector signals robust growth at the start of 2017

February 2017

February 9, 2017 | 15:15 | Dubai

January data signalled the strongest improvement in non-oil private sector business conditions for nearly two years. This was highlighted by the seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index – a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy registering 57.1 at the start of the year, up from 55.9 to signal the fastest rate of improvement in 23 months. Furthermore, all the three key sub-sectors monitored by the survey recorded marked rates of expansion.

By sector, travel & tourism remained the best performing category at the start of the year (index at 57.8), closely followed by wholesale & retail (57.7) and construction (55.4).

The headline Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index is derived from individual diffusion indices which measure changes in output, new orders, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchased goods.

A reading of below 50.0 indicates that the non-oil private sector economy is generally declining; above 50.0, that it is generally expanding. A reading of 50.0 signals no change.

The survey covers the Dubai non-oil private sector economy, with additional sector data published for travel & tourism, wholesale & retail and construction.


Commenting on the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker, Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, said:

“The rise in the Dubai Economy Tracker index in January to its highest level in nearly two years was mainly due to faster expansion in output and new orders. While some of the improvement was attributed to new projects, price discounting is still playing a significant part in supporting demand.”

Key Findings

  • Sharpest rise in output for almost two years
  • All three key sub-sectors see marked rise in activity

Firms continue to discount output prices despite further increase in input costs

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