The Saudi non-oil private business activity recorded the highest level in February in eight years, thanks to a strong increase in demand and an optimistic economic outlook, according to a survey published on Sunday.
The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index of the Riyad Bank jumped to 59.8 in February from 58.2 in the previous month, the fastest rate of increase since March 2015. The survey said that improved economic conditions drive confidence in future business activity over the period of the next 12 months.
The significant rise in new orders indicates an improvement in the economic conditions for companies. The new orders sub-index rose to 68.7 last month, the highest reading in more than eight years, from 65.3 in January, extending a recent upward trend and building strong demand momentum. As a result, the output sub-index posted a strong increase, reaching 65.6 in February from 63.6 in the previous month, which led to further expansion in hiring and purchasing.
Naif Alghaith, chief economist at Riyad Bank, said that the Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) for the non-oil business sector in Saudi Arabia during February made a qualitative leap to the highest level since 2015, and all sections of the index achieved positive results.