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  • SABB/HSBC Emerging Market Index (EMI) Reports an Increase in Output in August

    The SABB/HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI™) surveys, recovered from July’s post-crisis low in August, but signalled only a marginal rise in output across global emerging markets. The EMI rose from 49.5 to 50.7, the third-lowest figure in over four years. That said, it was the first rise in the headline figure since March.

    Manufacturing output was flat in August, as a fractional rise in China was weighed down by declines in other Asian economies and Brazil. Growth of services activity remained weak.

    Of the four largest emerging economies, China and Russia posted mild increases in output following declines in July. Brazil registered a further marginal drop in activity, while India posted the steepest rate of decline since March 2009.

    Growth of new business resumed following July’s contraction. The rate of expansion was only marginal, however, with manufacturing new orders little-changed on the month.

    Employment declined further in August. The manufacturing workforce shrank for the fourth month running, while service sector staffing declined for the first time in over four years, albeit marginally.

    SABB/HSBC’s EMI report indicated that Inflationary pressures picked up slightly in August, with input prices increasing at the fastest rate in six months. Moreover, output prices rose for the first time in five months.

    Non-oil producing private sector firms in Egypt reported a sharp contraction in output in August. The decline in activity was in line with a substantial fall in incoming new business, which was commonly attributed to political instability and ongoing demonstrations in the country. New export orders also declined markedly, with the rate of decrease the second-strongest recorded in the series history. Concurrently, suppliers’ delivery times worsened for the ninth month in succession.

    August data signalled a further improvement in operating conditions faced by Saudi Arabia’s non-oil producing private sector firms. Output rose at an accelerated pace, supported by a solid rise in new order intakes. The latest increase was partly driven by improved market conditions, and increased marketing and sales efforts. Meanwhile, client demand from foreign markets also strengthened.


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