Saudi Arabia business activity growth at four month high in August

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Growth in non-oil private business activity in Saudi Arabia accelerated to a four-month high in August with both output and new orders up, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers Index was at 57.5 points in August, after staying at 56.6 for the previous two months, which was the slowest rate of growth since September 2011.

The adjusted index remains above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed.

Output growth rebounded to a three-month high of 59.6 in August from 57.6 in July, which was the slowest rate since the survey began in August 2009.

Growth in new orders also picked up, rising to a four-month high of 66.3 from July’s 64.1. Export orders were at 56.0, the fastest clip since April and up from 53.5 in July, which was the slowest rate since November 2010.

Job creation eased to 52.1 last month from 52.5 in July, the survey showed.

The kingdom in early July delayed by four months the resumption of a crackdown on improperly registered expatriate workers, which had made hiring of foreigners more difficult for companies.

Input price growth accelerated to 55.0, the highest level since April, from 53.7 in July. Saudi consumer inflation edged up to 3.7 percent in July.

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