Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector growth eased to the lowest in three months in April, though the pace of expansion remained strong, survey results from S&P Global showed on Monday.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 55.7 in April from 56.8 in March. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.
Output increased further in April, though at the slowest pace since January, amid a robust growth in new client orders.
Both domestic and foreign orders rose at a slower pace in April.
Input price inflation eased slightly in April due to the war in Ukraine impacted raw material prices. Output prices increased at a faster rate.
The rate of purchasing growth was the sharpest since December 2017 and average lead times improved in April.
Employment levels increased in April with the rate of job creation fastest since June last year and backlogs of work eased at the quickest pace for nine months.
Looking ahead to the coming 12 months, businesses were less confident in April, amid uncertainty over the impact of global prices and geopolitical tensions. This led to an easing in the degree of positive sentiment to the lowest level since January.
“The Saudi Arabia PMI signaled another strong improvement in the health of the non-oil sector in April, but one that also showed the first signs of price pressures swaying clients’ spending decisions,” David Owen, an economist at S&P Global, said.