Saudi Oct PMI at 3-month high
Business activity in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector grew at its fastest pace in three months in October, indicating the biggest Arab economy is gaining momentum, a purchasing managers' survey showed on Wednesday.
The SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the performance of the OPEC member's manufacturing and services sectors, rose to 59.9 in October from 58.5 in September, its highest level since July.
The composite index, which is seasonally adjusted, peaked at 61.4 points in June. The survey was launched in August 2009.
The private sector of the world's biggest oil producer saw solid business growth in October as new orders rose at the fastest rate since July, despite a slowdown in new export business to the lowest level in the survey's history.
Companies' purchasing and wage costs accelerated in October, forcing companies to raise the prices they charged, according to the survey, which was based on more than 400 private firms.
Consumer inflation in the desert kingdom, at 5.9 percent in September, remains a worry. It came down from an 18-month peak in September but is still the highest in the Gulf.
The survey also showed Saudi employment climbed to a four-month high in October, indicating a robust rate of job creation across the non-oil private sector.
Unemployment stands at around 10 percent in Saudi Arabia and the government is trying to spur private sector growth and create more jobs for its growing population of more than 18 million.(Reuter)