Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector shrank for the fourth straight month in June as measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus continued to hit consumer demand, a survey showed on Sunday.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.7 in June from 48.1 in May, remaining below the 50.0 mark that separates growth from contraction.
“June data highlighted another difficult month for Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector economy, with cautious business and consumer spending patterns widely reported to have held back new order intakes,” said Tim Moore, economics director at survey compiler IHS Markit.
Saudi Arabia, which had the region’s highest coronavirus figures at more than 197,608 infections and 1,752 deaths as of July 1, ended a three-month curfew on June 21, although some restrictions have remained in place.
Saudi Arabia has extended several government initiatives to support the private sector during the coronavirus outbreak, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday, citing a decision by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.