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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in Saudi Arabia rose to 57.1 in January 2021 compared to 57.0 in December 2020, according to IHS Markit.
The firm said in a statement that the index recorded its highest level since November 2019, indicating a significant improvement in business conditions across the non-oil private sector economy.
The headline index was lifted by a faster expansion in output levels at the start of 2021, and one that was the sharpest recorded for 15 months.
The expansion in business activity was helped by a sharp rise in new orders during January, despite the pace of growth easing slightly from December's recent high.
Improving market conditions, rising online sales, and greater export demand all supported the upturn. Notably, new orders from foreign clients rose to the greatest degree in almost four years.
Rising new order intakes also led to a faster increase in purchasing activity during January, with the rate of accumulation quickening to a 13-month high.
Finally, business expectations for the forthcoming 12 months remained upbeat in January, reflecting optimism for the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and the predicted positive impact on the economic recovery.
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