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OPEC Member Countries Economy in September 2013

Source: OPEC 9/28/2013, Location: Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s PMI for August, published as the Saudi British Bank (SABB), signaled ongoing improvement in operating conditions at Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector firms. The gauge registered 57.5 in August, up from 56.5 in the previous month. August’s figure is the four-month high of the index. Furthermore, the survey showed a rise in new orders at the fastest pace in four months. Output rose at an accelerated pace in August, and client demand from foreign markets also strengthened. It is worth noting that the monthly index has stayed in expansion territory since its inception.

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) PMI maintained its same reading in August, unchanged from July. The gauge posted 54.5 in August, a good indication of the continuing expansion in the country’s non-oil producing private sector. The survey revealed a further rise in output levels to a six-month high. The output rise, as shown by the survey outcomes, is driven by increased business and improved market conditions. As a result, employment levels improved in August to meet higher production requirements. Output prices in the UAE also increased in line with input costs.

Uncertainty over the short-term political climate in North Africa, the Middle East and West Africa is expected to have its toll on the economic growth prospects over the short term. OPEC economies are now forecast to grow this year at a rate of 3.2% instead of July’s 3.3%, while next year’s forecast is revised down to 4.0% from 4.2%.

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