The Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures performance in the non-oil private sector economy, has recorded 47.6 points, the worst level in seven months. With this, the index continues its contraction for the 22nd consecutive month, remaining below the 50-point level separating contraction and growth.
A Standard & Poor report stated that the latest data indicate more noticeable declines in private sector business activity due to a sharp decline in demand for goods and services in light of rising prices and increasing uncertainty. As a result, the report added, companies continued to reduce purchasing and warehousing. However, they continued to hire new employees. Unfavourable exchange rates and high prices of production inputs led to an increase in the costs of the total inputs, which led companies to raise selling prices. Oxford Economics said that September witnessed a significant contraction of exports due to the weakness of the global economy, while new orders continued to decline due to higher prices.