Business conditions in Qatar have improved at the start of the second half of 2021, marked with gains in both new business and total activity, alongside rising backlogs and higher employment, according to the IHS Markit PMI survey.

The PMI rose for the second month running from June's 54.6 to 55.9 in July, signalling the strongest overall improving in operating conditions for nearly a year.

Moreover, it was the fourth-highest figure on record, with only October 2017 and July-August 2020 registering stronger readings.

Trevor Balchin, Economics Director at IHS Markit, said: "The PMI signalled stronger underlying growth in the non-energy private sector economy in July, rising for the second straight month to 55.9, the fourth-highest ever reading since the survey began in April 2017."

Total business activity rose at the fastest rate since August 2020 and the third-strongest recorded to date.

Although output growth broadly matched that for new work, the volume of outstanding business rose further in July, indicating sustained pressure from demand on operating capacity.

"Output and new business both rose at the third-fastest rates on record, with only the post-lockdown bounce in

July and August last year seeing stronger month-on-month growth rates for both metrics," Balchin said. 

Overall business expectations remained positive in July but remained below the pre-pandemic trend.

(Writing by Seban Scaria ; editing by Anoop Menon)

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