DUBAI, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector returned to growth in September for the first time in seven months, a survey showed on Monday, amid stronger demand after a loosening of lockdown measures imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.7 from 48.8 in August, going above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction for the first time since February, prior to the pandemic.
“Business activity in the Saudi Arabia non-oil private sector ticked up in September, supported by a return to sales growth as the economy started to find its footing after the COVID-19 lockdown,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.
“In addition, the impact of a rise in VAT notably softened, after a sharp rise in prices and a dip in sales were seen in August. Cost inflation eased