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Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker

Growth in Dubai’s private sector ended the third quarter on a weaker footing, with the latest expansion being the slowest since April. A contraction in employment and softer output growth contributed to the slight loss of impetus. Nonetheless, September’s overall improvement in business conditions remained solid overall. 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 – fell to 54.4 in September, down from 55.2 in August. Scoring above the 50.0 no-change mark, the latest figure signalled a solid overall expansion, albeit one that was below the historical average.

At the sector level, travel & tourism was once again the weakest performing category at 51.3 in September, followed by construction (53.8) and wholesale & retail (55.5) respectively.

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 headline Dubai Economy Tracker Index (DET) declined to 54.4 in September signalling the slowest rate of expansion since April. Both output and new work increased in September but at a slightly slower rate than in August.

"However, employment declined on average (49.2) in September, particularly in the travel & tourism sector. Selling prices in Dubai’s private sector declined for the fifth consecutive month, despite a modest rise in input costs. This suggests that firms increased promotional activity and discounts in order to boost demand.

"Stocks of pre-production inventories also rose at the slowest rate since July 2016, indicating less willingness on the part of firms to hold inventories. Firms remain highly optimistic about future output however, with many citing Expo 2020 projects and marketing initiatives as reasons for expected higher output in one year’s time.

"The sector surveys showed continued softness in the travel & tourism sector in September, with this sector index falling to the lowest level year-to-date. Momentum in the wholesale & retail and construction sectors also moderated last month."



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