LONDON (Bloomberg) - Business conditions in Dubai dropped to the lowest levels since May amid a spike in coronavirus cases that threatens the city’s economic recovery.
Non-oil private sector activity in the Middle East’s business hub slowed from levels seen during the third quarter of the year, according to IHS Markit. Its Purchasing Managers’ Index dipped to 49.9 last month from 51.5 in September, falling below the 50 mark that separates contraction from growth.
"After a robust quarter of growth for the Dubai non-oil economy, October data pointed to a more subdued picture as overall business conditions were left broadly stable,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit. "Businesses also showed weaker optimism towards the economic recovery from Covid-19, amid reports of weak demand and uncertainty about the future impact of the pandemic on activity and jobs.”
Business conditions in the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, took a hit in October as new business dropped for the first time since May amid continuing job losses. Lingering fears over the persistence of the pandemic are weighing on future activity. Cases in the Persian Gulf nation have gained momentum over the past month while the economy has been gradually reopening.