Saudi Private Sector Growth Slows to Four Month Low

Growth in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector slowed to a four-month low in September, a monthly survey of companies showed on Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 53.4 last month from 55.1 in August. A level above 50 indicates expansion, Reuters reports.

Despite struggles in the private sector, Saudi Arabia’s economy grew in the second quarter at its fastest pace for over a year. The Saudi economy expanded 1.8 percent, up from 1.1 percent in the first quarter.

According to a separate Reuters report, private businesses have been hit hard by increasing taxes “and other steps to narrow the government’s budget deficit, and by quotas and fees which make it more expensive to hire foreign workers and pressure firms to employ Saudis instead.”