While most economies world over witnessed a big blow following the Covid-19 outbreak, it seems like the United Arab Emirates is one of the only countries to have seen booming business conditions for the past 20 months. The recent vaccine rollout, the Hayat-Vax announcement and increasing construction sector activity have contributed positively to the same, reported Bloomberg. Non-oil private sector activity has been on the rise for the past four months, and is being touted as the longest run of expansion since late 2019, according to IHS Markit. Its UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 52.6 from 50.6 in February this year.
According to the publication, Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy has however been suffering due to decreasing sales and worsening expectations by firms. Its Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 53.3 in March from 53.9 in February. “Improving construction sector activity acted as a sorely-needed boost to the UAE non-oil economy in March,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit. “Business confidence improved to an eight-month high, with vaccine optimism driving confidence in future activity.”
The UAE’s inoculation efforts and higher oil prices will ensure its fast recovering from the damage the Covid-19 outbreak may have caused to its economy. Moreover, it is impertinent to mention here that the UAE’S real estate sector has not been in the best of shape for many years now, undergoing a steep decline in property prices. Hence, the boom in construction activity in the Emirates, undoubtedly proves to be a step in the right direction. The same was deciphered by IHS Markit, which noted that a pivotal factor to growth in March 2021, were the efforts to restart building work as the sector experienced “a sharp pick-up.” Owen noted, “March PMI data pointed to weaker growth in non-oil business conditions in Saudi Arabia, suggesting a cooling off in the economic recovery since the start of the year,” Owen said.