Hiring at companies in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil sector has increased at its strongest pace in about five years in December, driven by “robust” business activity, the agencies reported.
The reading on the Riyad Bank Saudi Arabia purchasing managers’ index came in at 56.9 last month, slower than the 58.5 recorded in November, but still well above the neutral 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
Despite the lower headline reading, businesses linked the rise in activity to higher sales and improving market demand, with new order inflows rising sharply and 30 per cent of surveyed companies reporting growth, compared with the previous month.
The acceleration in sales growth drove businesses in the kingdom to increase hiring in December to boost operating efficiency.
The rate of job creation was the fastest recorded since January 2018, while the increase in staffing capacity helped companies to reduce outstanding work for the seventh month running.