Operating conditions and growth in the UAE's non-oil private sector businesses improved at a robust pace in September thanks to strong output and employment, according to a business survey released on Wednesday

The S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell for the first time in three months to 56.1 in September from 56.7 in August.

There was a robust increase in new business volumes at the end of the third quarter of the year. The rate of new order growth was sharp and faster than the trend observed since the survey began in August 2009,  S&P Global said. 

David Owen, Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: "At a time of heightened global recession risks, these findings suggest that domestic businesses are keeping well clear of economic storms in other regions, helped by above-trend rates of growth in output and new business as the country continues to recover from the pandemic."

Non-oil firms recorded a further increase in employment, one that was broadly similar to that seen in August.

On the price front, September data signalled a modest uptick in firms' overall expenses, following a renewed decline in August.

Higher purchase prices mainly drove the rise, according to businesses, although wage costs also ticked higher. However reducing price of energy and other commodities helped firms to keep cost inflation subdued compared to H1 2022.

Input purchasing rose at the fastest rate for over three years, boosting inventories and supporting both higher new orders and stronger output expectations for the next 12 months.

Output charges were reduced for the fifth month in a row as businesses looked to further aid sales growth through competitive pricing, S&P Global said. 

(Reporting by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)