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Financial News: Saudi Arabia Non-Oil Private Sector Growth Remains Strong

Saudi Arabia Non-Oil Private Sector Growth Remains Strong On Higher Demand

01/03/2023 - 05:12:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector activity logged a further sharp expansion in December despite easing from the previous month, supported by robust market demand and new business intakes, survey results from S&P Global showed on Tuesday.

The Riyad Bank Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to a three-month low of 56.9 in December from 58.5 in November. Howevwer, a reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The overall growth was largely attributed to a further strengthening of business activity amid higher sales and improving market demand. Nonetheless, the rate of growth has slowed from its over-seven-year high in November.

Concurrently, new order flows increased significantly, driven by a strong upturn in service providers. The new export business also logged sharp growth due to higher demand from other GCC countries.

Firms raised their employment numbers in December in order to boost operating efficiency. Further, the rate of job creation was the fastest since January 2018.

As a result of higher import fees and higher prices for inputs, companies took steps to reduce stockpiling efforts. However, overall purchase costs were lower than in November.

Meanwhile, output charges rose at the fastest pace in nine months as firms passed their cost burdens to clients.

"All in all, December data points to a continuous growth for the fourth quarter with optimism on the upcoming year. This made us comfortability project growth of non-oil GDP to exceed 4 percent in 2023," Naif Al-Ghaith PhD, chief economist at Riyad Bank, said.

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