The latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) survey data from Qatar Financial Centre and IHS Markit indicated a sustained strong upturn in the non-energy private sector economy at the start of 2021.
Output as well as new business both rose at elevated rates, and following sustained elevated demand, employment increased for a survey-record fifth successive month.
Supply chains remained stable despite a ramping up of purchasing activity, and firms were also able to keep on top of levels of outstanding business during the month. Expectations regarding output over the next 12 months continued to be positive.
As a further indication of businesses adjusting to healthy demand, firms raised their prices charged for goods and services at one of the fastest rates since the survey began in April 2017.
The Qatar PMI indices are compiled from survey responses from a panel of around 400 private sector companies. The panel covers the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail, and services sectors, and reflects the structure of the non-energy economy according to official national accounts data.
The PMI registered 53.2 in February, slightly down from 53.9 in January.
The latest figure signaled continued strong non-energy business conditions, and was the fifth-highest level ever registered by the survey, below the peaks seen last July (59.8) and August (57.3) when the economy rebounded rapidly from the first wave of COVID-19, and lower than that recorded in October 2017 (56.3) when domestic production boomed after inducement generated by the blockade.
In comparison, since the series began in April 2017 the PMI has trended at 49.8, registering current performance well above the norm. Data for this January and February are signaling the strongest quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 2017.