Oil Slump Weighs on Saudi, U.A.E Businesses as PMI Drops

The slump in oil prices is sapping growth momentum of private businesses in the two biggest Arab economies, according to a key indicator released on Tuesday. The Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index for Saudi Arabia dropped for a second month in a row to 55.7 in October, the lowest level since since the survey began in 2009, driven by weaker expansion in new business. The same measure for the United Arab Emirates fell to 54 from 56 in September, the lowest since April 2013, the Dubai-based bank said. Readings above 50 still signal expansion, while those below indicate contraction. Oil prices have dropped more than 40 percent over the last year, prompting some governments in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to plan spending cuts and curb or eliminate fuel subsidies. Non-oil economic growth in the region will slow to 3.8 percent this year from 5.5 percent in 2014, according […]

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