New economic data has revealed that major Middle Eastern economies have returned to growth according to IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index. In Egypt the PMI increased to 50.4 from 49.4 in August. The UAE saw its reading reach 51 whilst Saudi Arabia recorded its first expansion in seven months registering 50.7.
Qatar however whilst still in growth declined at a steep rate from 57.3 in August down to 51.4. David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit said, “the latest Egypt PMI data offered more optimism for businesses. The non-oil economy is seeing a modest turnaround after the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Signs of economic recovery continue to be seen in the UAE where the Dubai World Trade Centre has reached agreement with the Israel Export Institute to introduce Israeli exhibitors to the UAE this year. The agreement is yet another development in economic relations between the two countries since the signing of the historic Abraham Accord.
Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry, Amir Peretz, has indicated more significant developments are due to take place. He said, “the trade agreement with the Dubai World Trade Centre is the first step towards a comprehensive trade agreement to be signed within the coming weeks between the Ministry of Economy and the UAE Government.”
Further evidence of momentum in the UAE economy comes from the resumption of permits being issued for foreign workers that work for the government or semi-government entities. Previously all work permits had been suspended in March as part of an effort to control COVID-19.