Non-oil private sector records strong growth in September — Emirates NBD UAE PMI

Updated 09 October 2017
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Non-oil private sector records strong growth in September — Emirates NBD UAE PMI

Despite softening slightly in September, growth in the UAE’s non-oil private sector remained sharp and marked the strongest quarter recorded for two years, according to a new survey. The latest improvement in business conditions was driven by above-average expansions in both output and new orders. The UAE PMI survey reported that new business from abroad slipped back to contraction, indicating that the recovery was driven by domestic demand. On the price front, output charges fell, whilst input price inflation softened to a four-month low.
The survey, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, contains original data collected from a monthly survey of business conditions in the UAE non-oil private sector.
Khatija Haque, head of MENA research at Emirates NBD, said: “Although the headline purchasing managers index eased slightly in September, the average reading for Q3 was the highest in two years, underpinned by strong growth in output and new work. The survey suggests that economic growth accelerated last quarter, and that domestic demand remains solid, despite relatively modest jobs growth.”
The headline seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy — eased from the 30-month high of 57.3 recorded in the preceding survey to 55.1 in September. Growth remained strong overall and steeper than the survey’s historical average. The average in Q3 2017 was 56.1, the strongest since Q3 2015 (56.3).
Firms in the non-oil private sector reported a sharp increase in output in September. The rate of growth was steep overall and above the series’ long-run average. The pace of expansion slowed from the four-month high registered in August.
Behind the latest rise in output requirements was strong underlying demand for goods and services produced in the UAE’s non-oil private sector, according to anecdotal evidence. A sharp expansion in incoming new work was signalled in September. However, survey data suggested that greater inflows of new work came from the domestic market instead of foreign sources, as indicated by the contraction in new export orders.
Employment levels continued to rise for the 17th month running in September. Companies in the UAE’s non-oil private sector reduced their output charges, according to the most recent survey data.


Visa, mada launch ‘mada Pay’ app

Updated 16 July 2018
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Visa, mada launch ‘mada Pay’ app

Visa, a world leader in digital payments, announced Sunday that it has partnered with mada, the national payment scheme, to bring Saudi consumers mada Pay, the first mobile payment solution that supports contactless (NFC) transactions to launch in the Kingdom.
mada Pay is an Android-based mobile application that enables cardholders to make fast, easy and secure contactless mobile payments at NFC-enabled merchants throughout Saudi and abroad with Saudi-issued Visa cards (credit and prepaid). Visa and mada co-badged (debit and prepaid) cards can also be used with mada Pay.
The mada Pay app features built-in security technology enabled by Visa Token Service and mada Tokenization Platform that replaces card data, including the 16-digit card number, with a “token” (a random number), to protect cardholders’ account information. During the transaction, the token is selected (either a mada or Visa token) and submitted into the payment process rather than the actual card information, depending on the type of card and geographical location where the transaction occurs. This means that users of digital applications such as mada Pay are able to pay, safe in the knowledge that they are protected by multiple layers of security.
Ali Bailoun, Visa’s general manager for Saudi Arabia, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with mada to launch mada Pay, the first digital application of its kind in Saudi Arabia, a secure and innovative cashless solution made possible by our joint secure tokenization technologies. This initiative reflects our commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by leveraging our global capabilities and solutions to help build a secure, seamless and modern payments infrastructure that will facilitate the shift toward cashless commerce.”
Ziad Al-Yousef, general manager of the General Department of Payments Systems at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), said: “Offering consumers a digital application is an important step forward in supporting the government’s efforts to achieve Vision 2030. We are pleased to be partnering with Visa and other international players to deliver such a safe, convenient and interoperable new way to pay.”
Earlier this year, Visa released the results of an independent study conducted by Roubini ThoughtLab and commissioned by Visa, “Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments,” which examined the economic impact of increasing the use of digital payments in major cities around the world.
“Our Cashless Cities study shows that increased usage of digital payments, such as cards and mobile payments, could yield a net benefit of up to SR25.12 billion annually to consumers, businesses, and government in Riyadh. Today’s partnership is a great example of how Visa, the leading digital payments company globally, is well positioned to work with our partners in government — as well as across banks and merchants, in unlocking the financial benefits of moving toward digital payments,” added Bailoun.