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Financial News: Saudi Arabia Non-Oil Private Sector Growth Lowest In

Saudi Arabia Non-Oil Private Sector Growth Lowest In Nearly 2 Years

03/03/2020 - 03:14:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector grew in February at the slowest pace in nearly two years, as output, new orders and job creation decreased, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.

The Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 52.5 in February from 54.9 in January. The reading signaled the slowest expansion since April 2018. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

New business growth and output rates slowed in February and new works were the weakest over the period.

Export orders rebounded slightly in February with new works from abroad rising for the first time in three months.

Backlogs of works decline was the sharpest since September 2011 and output growth eased for the third time in four months in February. Staff hiring became more cautious due to weaker business activity growth.

On the price front, average prices charged decreased in February, with the rate of discounting the fastest seen since April 2019. Purchasing costs increased sharply at the fastest pace in almost one-and-a-half years.

Suppliers' delivery time lengthened to the sharpest rate since August 2009 and input goods accelerated in February.

"The latest survey data highlights a sharp loss of momentum since the start of 2020, with overall business conditions improving at the slowest pace for almost two years," Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said.

"February data revealed additional challenges from international supply chain disruptions following the COVID-19 outbreak in China, with firms seeking to build up inventories and source alternative suppliers of critical components."

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