Saudi, UAE Business Conditions Improve, Though Employment Falls

General Views Of Saudi Arabia's Capital

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Business activity in the Arab world’s two largest economies improved at the end of last year, with Saudi Arabia seeing its strongest expansion in 13 months.

After 2020 setbacks caused by the spread of Covid-19 and lower crude prices, non-oil private sector economies in the United Arab Emirates and neighboring Saudi Arabia still faced job losses as firms adjusted to the challenges of the global pandemic.

Purchasing Managers’ Index surveys compiled by IHS Markit in December for the two Gulf nations rose above the threshold of 50 that separates growth from contraction. In Saudi