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DUBAI: Non-oil business activity in the United Arab Emirates eased in July as new orders slowed from a four-year high the previous month, a survey showed on Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index slowed to 56.0 in July, from 56.9 in June, but remained firmly above the 50 mark, which signals growth in activity.

The slowdown was attributed in part to an easing of growth in new orders, although demand remained strong, with the sub-index falling to 57.4 in July from 61.0 the previous month, which was the fastest rate of expansion since June 2019.

Greater competition was among the reasons for the dampening in sales growth, the survey said.

“The latest PMI data pointed to a slight recalibration of the strength of the UAE non-oil economy in July, as new business growth slowed from its four-year high in June and the output expansion subsequently lessened,” said David Owen, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Owen added that the “the easing of sales growth was substantial and, if accelerated in future months, suggests that the demand boom could have reached its peak.”

While output remained firmly in expansion territory, the pace of growth eased to 62.8 in July from 64.1 the previous month.

Overall economic growth among the Gulf oil exporting countries is expected to be weaker this year on lower oil prices and global macroeconomic concerns, but non-oil growth has remained resilient.

Non-oil GDP of Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, grew 6.1% in the first quarter outperforming overall GDP growth of 3.9%, according to government data.

The latest survey showed a positive outlook over the next 12 months, on expectations of improved economic conditions and marketing and sales pipelines.

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