The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey data from the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) signaled a record improvement in business conditions in the non-energy economy in May 2022.
The PMI increased to a new record high of 63.6 in April, up from 61.8 in March.
This indicated the strongest overall improvement in non-energy sector business conditions since the survey began just over five years ago.
Output rose at the fastest rate since the series began in April 2017, while new orders expanded at the third-quickest rate in the series history.
Activity growth was especially strong in the construction sector.
That said, despite buoyant market conditions and relatively weak rates of inflation, positive sentiment dipped to a new series low in April.
The recorded improvement is attributed to the record rise in new orders, increased tourism activity, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 set for November and the lifting of all coronavirus pandemic health restrictions.
Manufacturers recorded by far the strongest uplift in output, followed by services, wholesale, retail, and construction, respectively.
Sustained expansions in demand led to further capacity pressures at Qatari non-energy firms.
Outstanding business rose at the quickest rate in the series history, accelerating sharply from the previous peak in April.
Firms sought to tame rising backlogs by lifting their headcounts at a near-record rate.
Higher output requirements led companies to raise their purchasing activity at a survey-record rate.
Stocks of purchases meanwhile rose at the fourth-strongest rate in the series history.
Firms were confident that workloads would rise over the coming 12 months, with sentiment improvement in May.
The upcoming FIFA World Cup and hopes of greater tourist activity were key drivers of optimism, but sub-sector sentiment was strongest among service providers.
In terms of prices, pressures continued to build midway through Q2 2022, with average overall input costs rising in each of the last 10 months.
The rate of inflation was the strongest since August 2020 and as a result, companies lifted their selling prices for the first time in four months.