SABB/HSBC PMI Index Signals Continuous Improvement in Saudi non-oil Producing Private Sector

The Saudi British Bank “SABB” has published the results of the headline SABB/HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) for June 2013 – a monthly report issued by the bank and HSBC. It reflects the economic performance of the Saudi Arabian non-oil producing private sector companies through the monitoring of a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment. Posting 56.6 in June, the headline PMI signalled that overall operating conditions in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector economy continued to improve. However, the pace of improvement slowed slightly in recent times. June data indicated a further slowing of activity growth in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector. While output increased markedly, the rate of expansion experienced a slight weakness. Companies linked weaker growth to a slowdown in market demand. The rate of expansion was sharp overall, with 37% of panellists surveyed indicating an increase in order book volumes. Client demand from foreign markets also strengthened, and some panellists linked this to increased tourism activities. Meanwhile, employment levels rose further, albeit only slightly. There was some anecdotal evidence that the latest hiring of workers was driven by increased new business. Overall input costs in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector increased in June, and at a slightly faster pace than in May. The report also indicated that general increasing costs and increased market demand accounted for much of the rise in purchase prices. Selling prices in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector were unchanged from the previous survey period in June. While some companies raised their charges in response to increased input costs, others left output charges unchanged to maintain competitiveness. Levels of outstanding work increased in June, as companies indicated higher new business. The rate of expansion accelerated for a fourth month running, but was modest overall. Exactly 11% of panellists surveyed recorded increased work-in-hand, and 7% reported a decline. Meanwhile, suppliers’ delivery times improved, but at the slowest pace since February. Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector companies reported a further rise in purchasing activity in June. Increased new business was mentioned by many panellists to have contributed to the rise in buying. Concurrently, pre-production inventories increased, with 13% of companies indicating an accumulation of stocks of purchases. According to anecdotal evidence, the latest rise was in response to higher business volumes.