Latest survey data by QFC reveals consistent business activity expansion beyond the energy sector.
Qatar Financial Centre’s (QFC) most recent Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey pointed to a robust and steady expansion in the non-energy private sector for September.
Significant gains were witnessed in output and new order figures, with employment witnessing the swiftest increase since June 2022.
Moreover, the outlook for the upcoming 12 months appears even more promising. Although cost pressures remained relatively moderate, selling prices marked their first rise in a span of five months.
Compiled from feedback of approximately 450 private sector entities, the Qatar PMI indices provide a snapshot of sectors including manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail, and services.
They present an accurate reflection of the non-energy economy, aligned with the official national accounts data.
The primary PMI index from the QFC serves as a comprehensive barometer of non-energy private sector performance, drawing its readings from metrics such as new orders, output, employment, supplier delivery durations, and stockpile purchases.
The PMI registered at 53.7 for September, a minor fluctuation from August’s 53.9, suggesting a persistent positive trend in the business environment.
This latest figure not only outstrips the average for 2023 (at 53.0) but also surpasses the long-term pattern since 2017, which stood at 52.4. Since March, the PMI has hovered between 53.7 and 55.6, signifying unwavering and substantial economic growth.
September marked the seventh consecutive month of growth in non-oil private sector employment, reaching the most accelerated rate since June of the previous year.
Many companies have been actively onboarding experienced and highly skilled professionals. Significant staffing boosts were noted in three out of the four primary sectors being monitored, as well as within the financial services industry.
There was a surge in new businesses for the eighth month in a row this September, with growth maintaining its robust trajectory. The construction industry was particularly instrumental in driving demand.
The non-energy private sector in Qatar experienced yet another surge in overall business activity.
Except for a brief hiatus post the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in January, output has been on the rise for over three years. Although the growth rate was slightly milder than in previous months, it remains well above the long-term mean.
Meanwhile, September saw manufacturers and construction companies holding the brightest expectations, enhancing the 12-month projection for the non-energy private sector.
Regarding procurement, September was the seventh month in a row where input purchasing expanded. Moreover, supply chains witnessed further optimisation as lead times shortened for the seventeenth consecutive month, setting a new record.
Despite these developments, input inventories remained more or less consistent, as businesses managed their stock levels with increased efficiency.
Lastly, the pressure on prices in September was relatively mild. All four price indices marginally surpassed the benchmark of 50.0.
Notably, after a hiatus of five months, prices for goods and services began to rise once again, primarily driven by the manufacturing sector.