The latest data from the Qatar Financial Center’s Purchasing Managers’ Index study for the month of April 2023 revealed an improvement in business activity due to an increase in demand for goods and services by non-energy private sector companies in Qatar. Likewise, production indicators and business activity expectations for the next 12 months maintained a strong positive outlook, while the employment index rose again.
Youssef Mohamed Al Jaidah, CEO of the Qatar Financial Center Authority, said: “The financial services sector continued to grow at high rates in April, compared to non-energy private sector companies in Qatar, as the new business index for the financial services sector reached 61.3 points.
He added: The overall activity in non-energy private sector companies in Qatar gained momentum at the beginning of the second quarter of 2023, mainly due to the acceleration of growth in demand. The PMI came in at 54.4 in April, the highest reading in nine months and well above the long-term study average of 52.2, which began in 2017.
The expectations of Qatari companies for commercial activity for the next twelve months have declined slightly in the recent period, but the average future production index of 71.1 points in 2023 so far has remained much higher than the study’s long-term average of 64.6 points.
The Purchasing Managers’ Indexes for the State of Qatar are compiled from responses to survey questions received from a panel of approximately 450 private sector companies. This committee covers several areas including manufacturing, construction, retail and wholesale as well as services, and it reflects the structure of the non-energy economy, according to official national accounts data.
The QFC Core Purchasing Managers’ Index is a single-digit composite indicator of the performance of non-energy private sector companies in Qatar. The headline PMI for Qatar is calculated on the basis of new orders, production, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and inventories of purchases.
The PMI rose for the fifth time in six months, from 53.8 points in March to 54.4 points in April, indicating the strongest improvement in business activity for non-energy private sector firms in Qatar since July 2022. The latest index reading was higher than the study’s long-term average. of 52.2 points.
The increase in the main PMI was attributed to the acceleration of growth in new orders. Employment indicators and stocks of purchases also had a positive impact on the headline reading of the index. The output index decreased slightly in April compared to March, but remained above the level studied over the long term, with financial services once again cited as the main growth driver.
New business in April grew at its fastest rate in nine months, and Qatari companies reported that sources of growth include receiving large numbers of new orders, expanding their customer bases and increasing demand from new projects as well as new product launches.
The outlook for Qatari non-energy private sector companies remained very positive for the next 12 months. The future production index fell again in April from its highest level in 41 months, recorded in February, but the average index for 2023 so far has scored 71.7 points, which is much higher than the study’s long-term average of 64.6 points. At the sectoral level, the manufacturing sector had the highest level of confidence in April 2023.
April data indicated that average wages and salaries rose for the third month in a row, with more pressure on wages at a rate higher than the study’s long-term average. The employment index, which tracks the total number of employees, rose to a nine-month high, indicating a new increase in the workforce.
Average input prices rose in April, in the same upward trend seen since the start of 2023. However, pressures from inflation remained moderate and broadly in line with the study’s long-term average. Meanwhile, Qatari companies raised the prices of their goods and services in April after lowering them in March 2023.
Although new business inflows put pressure on companies’ productive capacities, Qatari companies were able to reduce their backlogs for the ninth consecutive month in April due to improved productivity and an increase in the number of employees.
Qatar’s financial services sector continued to grow at a remarkable rate in April 2023, with new business increasing for the 35th consecutive month and the highest rate since last August. Overall activity in the financial services sector rose for the 22nd consecutive month at a strong pace, while the outlook for growth for the coming year remains very positive.
New business grew for the 35th consecutive month in April, and the rate of expansion in new business accelerated for the eighth consecutive month. Employment numbers were generally stable in April 2023 after declining slightly in March 2023. April data indicated a new rise in financial services prices, albeit at the lowest pace in three months. The average prices of production inputs also decreased for the first time since last October.
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