DUBAI  - Growth in the United Arab Emirates' non-oil private sector slowed to a 10-month low in March, dropping for a third month after the introduction of a 5 percent value-added tax at the start of the year, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which covers manufacturing and services, fell to 54.8 last month from 55.1 in February. Above 50 indicates expansion and below shows contraction.

Output growth fell to a 23-month low of 57.1 from 57.7 while growth in new orders dropped to 60.2 from 61.5. Employment growth hit a 17-month low.

“Although the UAE’s PMI score continues to moderate from the pre-VAT boost enjoyed at the end of 2017, it remains firmly in expansionary territory, and continued discounting by firms should help stimulate demand," said Daniel Richards, regional economist at Emirates NBD.

"Firms are more positive towards future output than they were last month, reflecting new orders that remain strong at 60.2.”

Output prices fell outright for a second straight month in March, with the pace of deflation accelerating, while input price inflation slowed to its lowest level in 10 months.


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(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Catherine Evans) ((; +9715 6681 7277; Reuters Messaging: