Non-energy growth strengthens in April

5 May 2024

PMI by S&P Global

Doha, Qatar: 5 May 2024 – Qatar's non-energy private sector recorded a stronger improvement in business conditions in April, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI®) survey data from Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) compiled by S&P Global. Output, new orders, employment and purchasing activity all increased at faster rates than in March, and the 12-month outlook brightened. Price pressures turned slightly negative, as both input and output prices fell marginally.

The Qatar PMI indices are compiled from survey responses from a panel of around 450 private sector companies. The panel covers the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail, and services sectors, and reflects the structure of the non-energy economy according to official national accounts data.

The headline Qatar Financial Centre PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of non-energy private sector performance. It is derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases.

The PMI registered 52.0 in April, up from 50.6 in March. The latest figure rose further above the no-change mark of 50.0 and signalled the strongest improvement in business conditions in the non-energy private sector economy since last September.

The 1.4-point increase in the headline figure was among the largest registered over the past two years and took it broadly in line with the long-run survey trend level of 52.2 since April 2017. Four of the five components of the PMI - new orders, output, employment and stocks of purchases - made positive contributions in April. As has been the case for the past two years, shorter suppliers' delivery times weighed slightly on the headline figure.

The volume of incoming new business in Qatar's non-energy economy rose at the fastest rate in seven months in April, linked to new customers and high quality, competitive products. Demand strengthened across all four sectors, notably in services.

Matching the trend for new business, total activity increased at the fastest rate since last September in April. Alongside new projects, companies continued to complete existing workloads.

Non-energy private sector companies were increasingly optimistic on growth over the next 12 months in April. Firms linked positive forecasts to marketing campaigns, business development plans and efficiency drives.

Stronger inflows of new work and increased confidence led to a sharper rate of hiring growth in April. Employment has risen for 14 months, and the rate of job creation was running above the long-run survey average in April. Meanwhile, purchasing activity increased at the fastest rate in ten months.

Price pressures headed lower in April, as both input prices and charges fell during the month. That said, in both cases the rates of reduction were marginal.


QFC Qatar PMI vs. GDP


Fastest growth in financial services in six months

  • Steepest increases in new business and total activity since last October
  • Hiring and 12-month outlook both strengthen
  • Cost pressures broadly stable

Qatari financial services companies recorded faster growth in volumes of total business activity and new contracts in April. The seasonally adjusted Financial Services Business Activity and New Business Indexes rose to six-month highs of 55.2 and 55.0 respectively.

Companies were also more optimistic regarding the 12-month outlook, with confidence the highest since last November. This was reflected in a sharper increase in employment, which extended the current sequence of hiring growth to 13 months.

In terms of prices, average charges set by financial services companies fell for the fourth month running. Meanwhile, average input prices were broadly unchanged from March.

The PMI recorded one of the largest increases in two years in April, signalling the strongest overall growth of the non-energy private sector economy since last September. The indicators for output, new orders and employment all improved since March, and the 12-month outlook strengthened. Financial services remained a bright spot, registering stronger gains in new business and activity than the wider economy.

The latest data also signalled weak inflationary pressures, with both input prices and charges falling slightly.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida

Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority

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