The positive contributions from new orders, output, employment and purchases helped Doha's non-energy private sector record a stronger improvement in business conditions in April, according to the Qatar Financial Centre's latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI).

Qatar's non-energy private sector recorded a stronger improvement in business conditions in April, it said, adding the 12-month outlook "brightened".

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

The 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 in April, up from 50.6 in March. The latest figure rose further above the no-change mark of 50 and signalled the strongest improvement in business conditions in the non-energy private sector economy since last September.

"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," said Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive officer, QFC Authority.

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 the 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, it said.

Highlighting that non-energy private sector companies were increasingly optimistic on growth over the next 12 months in April; it said 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.

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 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 latest data also signalled weak inflationary pressures, with both input prices and charges falling slightly," al-Jaidah said.
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