Qatar new business growth hits nine-month high: QFC

Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon private sector started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to the latest QFC Qatar PMI data

Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon private sector started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to the latest QFC Qatar PMI data. A survey-record rate of job creation alongside marked new order growth contributed to July’s findings. Furthermore, business confidence improved to the highest level recorded since the survey’s inception in April 2017. The survey, compiled for the Qatar Financial Centre by IHS Markit, has been conducted since April 2017 and provides an early indication of operating conditions in Qatar. The headline figure derived from the survey is the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

Readings above 50 signal an improvement in business conditions on the previous month, while readings below 50 show a deterioration. The headline seasonally adjusted QFC PMI, a composite gauge designed to give a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the non-oil and gas private sector, rose to 52 in July, up from 51.8 in June. The figure was indicative of a moderate improvement in business conditions, and one that was above the survey average of 51.5.  Inflows of new business increased at a marked rate during July. Firms linked stronger demand to improving domestic economic conditions and promotional activity. Reflecting new order growth, output increased in July, albeit at a fractionally slower pace than recorded in June, the survey said.

Strong business confidence towards future growth prospects in the non-oil and gas private sector stimulated firms to hire additional staff during the latest survey. The level of business optimism and hiring were both at the survey-record highs in July. The reduction in selling prices softened from the survey-record decrease recorded in June. Nonetheless, output charges continued to fall at a marked pace overall, reflecting many firms engaging in promotional activities during the latest survey period. Businesses in the non-hydrocarbon private sector reported the strongest improvement in vendor performance since the survey began during July, according to the survey.

Reflecting higher inflows of new business in the latest survey, backlogs of work built-up at a solid pace. The finding extended the current phase of rising backlogs of work to three months, with the most recent increase being the sharpest since last October. Stocks of purchases held at Qatari non-oil private sector firms dropped for the first time since April, partly reflecting higher business activity.   “Business activity growth across the non-hydrocarbon private sector accelerated during July, reflecting stronger domestic economic conditions. The latest Qatar Financial Centre PMI also suggested the fastest increase in new hires since the survey began in April last year, with many local businesses linking job creation to improved optimism towards future growth prospects and marked inflows of new orders,” said Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad al-Thani, managing director, business development, QFC Authority.

Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times