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Saudi Arabia Private Sector Growth Slows In December

Saudi Arabia's private sector expansion slowed in December, after reaching an eleven-month high in November, amid a slowing in output growth and a fall in job creation, data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.

The headline Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, dropped to 54.5 in December from 55.2 in November. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Output growth remained above average, despite easing from November.

New orders grew further, but slowly. Export orders rose for the third straight month, but only fractionally.

Selling prices decreased at a faster rate than that seen in November. Cost pressures remained muted though firms reported modest increases in purchase prices and staff pay.

Employment growth in the non-oil private sector was at the weakest rate since April 2017.

Business confidence towards growth prospects over the next 12 months improved to the highest in five years.

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