Dubai’s wholesale and retail sector was a top performer during the first quarter, the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index shows. (Image Credit: Pawan Singh / The National)

Dubai business conditions at best in two years, study says

A gauge of the Dubai economy says the emirate’s business conditions improved in March amid gains in output, new orders and employment. The latest Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker says that the wholesale and retail, travel and tourism and construction industries led the advance, which capped the index’s strongest quarter since the first quarter of 2015.

The index rose to 56.6 in March from 56.2 in February.

Emirates NBD sponsors the monthly survey of business conditions in the emirate’s non-oil private sector by Markit, a financial information services company. A reading above 50 suggests that the non-oil economy is growing, while a reading below 50 suggests that it is contracting.

"The March data is consistent with sharp improvements in business conditions across Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy, with output, new orders and employment all expanding at a faster pace than the previous month," said Tim Fox, head of research and chief economist at Emirates NBD.

The best performing subsector was wholesale and retail, whose index stood at 57.1. The second-best performer was travel and tourism at 55.3, followed by construction at 54.8. Those are the only three subsectors covered by the survey.

While the latest data collected showed an...