Job levels rise in Saudi nonoil private sector



JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Wednesday 3 July 2013

Last update 3 July 2013 3:15 am

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Employment levels rose further last month in Saudi Arabia’s nonoil producing private sector, according to a monthly report issued by the Saudi British Bank (SABB) and HSBC.
SABB has published the results of the headline SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for June 2013.
It reflects the economic performance of the Saudi Arabian nonoil producing private sector companies through the monitoring of a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment.
Posting 56.6 in June, the headline PMI signaled that overall operating conditions in Saudi Arabia’s nonoil producing private sector economy continued to improve.
The pace of improvement, however, slowed slightly in recent times.
June data indicated a further slowing of activity growth in Saudi Arabia’s nonoil producing private sector, says a bank statement.
While output increased markedly, the rate of expansion experienced a slight weakness.
Companies linked weaker growth to a slowdown in market demand, according to the report.
The rate of expansion was sharp overall, with 37 percent of panelists surveyed indicating an increase in order book volumes.
Client demand from foreign markets also strengthened and some panelists linked this to increased tourism activities.
Meanwhile, employment levels rose further, albeit only slightly.
There was some anecdotal evidence that the latest hiring of workers was driven by increased new business.
Overall input costs in Saudi Arabia’s nonoil producing private sector increased in June, and at a slightly faster pace than in May.
The report also indicated that general increasing costs and increased market demand accounted for much of the rise in purchase prices.
Selling prices in Saudi Arabia’s nonoil producing private sector were unchanged from the previous survey period in June.
While some companies raised their charges in response to increased input costs, others left output charges unchanged to maintain competitiveness.
Levels of outstanding work increased in June, as companies indicated higher new business.
The rate of expansion accelerated for a fourth month running, but was modest overall.
Exactly 11 percent of panelists surveyed recorded increased work-in-hand, and 7 percent reported a decline.
Meanwhile, suppliers’ delivery times improved, but at the slowest pace since February.
Saudi Arabia’s nonoil producing private sector companies reported a further rise in purchasing activity in June.
Increased new business was mentioned by many panelists to have contributed to the rise in buying. Concurrently, pre-production inventories increased, with 13 percent of companies indicating an accumulation of stocks of purchases.
According to anecdotal evidence, the latest rise was in response to higher business volumes.

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