Business conditions in Qatar’s non-oil private sector remained strong in September, as output and new orders grew and employment levels climbed at the fastest rate since over a year ago, according to the latest survey.

The Gulf state’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which is based on survey data from Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), stood at 53.7 during the month.

The latest PMI was above the average recorded for 2023 so far (53.0) and exceeded the long-term trend since 2017 (52.4).

While the latest reading hardly changed from the 53.9 PMI in August, QFC said the survey findings indicate “another strong improvement in business conditions”.

Positive indicators

Hiring activity expanded for the seventh month running in September and at the fastest pace since June 2022, as companies sought highly qualified employees. Three of the four sectors tracked for the study posted “solid” growth in staffing.

As employment levels rose, output and new orders recorded “solid increases”. Cost pressures also remained “modest”, while selling prices increased for the first time in five months.

“The Qatar PMI continued its steady run in September… Growth over the third quarter as a whole softened slightly compared with the second quarter but remained comfortably above the long-run trend of the survey’s six-and-a-half year history,” said Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO of QFC Authority.

“While output and new business continued to expand at robust rates, it was employment that was the main highlight in September, with the rate of hiring growth the best since mid-2022.”

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)