POLL-UAE Nov business activity edges down to 3-month low -PMI

DUBAI, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Growth in the United Arab Emirates'

non-oil private sector eased to a three-month low in November as

the surge in new orders lost a little steam, a survey showed on

Wednesday.

The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the

performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, edged

down to 53.7 points last month from 53.8 in October.

The adjusted index remained well clear of the 50-point mark

that separates growth from contraction in the survey of 400

private sector firms, although the headline reading was well

below that of neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

"Given the weak global backdrop, this is another strong

reading that puts the UAE non-oil economy firmly in expansionary

territory," said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle

East at HSBC.

"The strong new orders and new export readings are

particularly encouraging and point to an economy not only

showing growth but well placed to maintain momentum," he said.

UAE firms' output index eased to 53.5 points in November,

the lowest since March, from 54.3 in October.

The new orders index dipped to 60.1 points from 60.3, but

the pace of growth remained robust.

The expansion in new export orders held steady at 56.7

points last month, the highest since May 2011, the survey also

showed.

"Despite the sustained pickup in activity, the PMI shows the

economy operating well within capacity; as a result, the upward

pressures on prices and wages remains moderate," Williams said.

Employment growth across the UAE's non-oil private sector

moderated in November, sliding to an eight-month low of 51.6

points.

Manufacturers and services had to lower their output prices

again in November due to stiffer competition, with that index

falling below 50. But growth in input prices slowed to 53.3

points - the weakest level since November 2010.

Consumer price inflation in the UAE, the world's No. 3 oil

exporter, slowed to 0.5 percent on an annual basis in October,

according to government data.

Last month, Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri

forecast 2012 economic growth of 3.5-4 percent and a 2013

expansion of about 3.5 percent.

- Detailed PMI data is only available under licence from

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(Reporting by Martin Dokoupil; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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