Saudi non-oil private sector keeps up solid growth in March

A survey showed that business activity in the Saudi kingdom’s non-oil private sector continued its strong growth in March, with production increasing at the fastest pace in more than four years.

David Owen, an economist at Standard & Poor’s Global, said the Kingdom’s Purchasing Managers’ Index indicated strong growth in the non-oil economy during March, as new business and commercial activity rose sharply in line with the recovery in customer demand.

Owen added that the supply chains were among the indicators of strength as well, as waiting times were reduced by the maximum in 3 years, and in return, companies increased their purchases at the fastest pace since December 2017, which supports raising their capacity levels.

He indicated that the rise in gasoline and raw materials prices led to a significant increase in companies’ expenses, but with improved sales, companies were able to increase their product prices accordingly, and expenses and fees rose at their strongest rates since August 2020.

The production sub-index rose to 62.4 from 60.4 in February, surpassing the index’s average of 61.4, the new orders sub-index rose and the new export orders index returned to growth after two months of contraction, he said.

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