Dubai's non-oil private sector saw robust but softer growth in May compared with the previous month, boosting business optimism to a three-year high, a survey showed on Friday.

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped from the eight-month high of 56.4 in April, to 55.3 in May.

Weighing on the index was a softer rise in new business inflows and a greater shortening of delivery times, the report said.

The survey covers the Dubai non-oil private sector economy, with additional sector data published for travel & tourism, wholesale & retail and construction.

"The headline index dropped to a three-month low of 55.3, but this was partly due to a relaxation of supply-side pressures, as improving global conditions helped average lead times to fall at the quickest pace since mid-2019," said David Owen, Senior Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Businesses saw activity levels expand in May as the rate of growth accelerated for the fifth consecutive month and was the strongest since August 2022.

Alongside, supply chain conditions across the sector improved in May allowing vendors to increase their capacity and meet delivery requirements.

The firms were confident that growth will be sustained over the forthcoming year. "Perhaps a symbol of the region moving clear of the pandemic era, the degree of business confidence was the strongest recorded since March 2020, immediately before the first global lockdown," said Owen.

Employment numbers rose for the 13th consecutive month, on the back of robust growth and the optimistic outlook. The pace of job creation was the fastest recorded since the beginning of 2018.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)