16 October 2023, Emirates NBD
Dubai’s real GDP grew 3.2% in the first half of 2023, when compared to the same period in 2022. Over this period there appear to have been significant contributions from the transport and storage, accommodation and food, wholesale and retail trade, and finance and insurance sectors. The transport and storage sector, in particular, grew 10.5% y/y in H1 and accounted for almost 43% of total GDP growth over the period. & On a quarterly bases Dubai GDP grew 3.6% y/y in Q2.
Inflation in Saudi Arabia came in at 1.7% y/y in September, from the 2% recorded in August. A sizeable increase in actual rents was the primary driver of inflation, causing an 8% y/y increase in the housing and utilities component. Restaurants and hotel prices also rose 2.5% y/y in September. These were partially offset by a 2.8% y/y decline in furnishings and household equipment, and a 3.6% y/y fall in clothing and footwear prices. On a month-on-month basis inflation was unchanged between August and September.
The headline reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey dipped by more than 5 points in the most recent preliminary print, declining from 68.1 to a value of 63 in October. The deterioration in the headline figure was driven by declines in both the current and expected conditions indices. Perhaps more notable for Fed officials will have been the uptick in inflation expectations recorded by the survey. Household inflation expectations for 1-year ahead rose sharply, to 3.8% from the September reading of 3.2%. The 5-to-10 year ahead expectations measure also rose, albeit more modestly, from 2.8% to 3%.
Today’s Economic Data and Events
16:30 US Empire manufacturing survey, Oct. Forecast: -5.0
US Treasury yields declined on Friday, driven by safe-haven demand and comments from Fed officials stating that the recent rise in bond yields was contributing to tighter financial conditions. Yields on the 2yr UST fell 2bps to close at 5.054% while the 10yr yield declined by almost 9bps to 4.612%.
German and UK bond yields also edged lower. The 2yr Bund fell 1bps to 3.13%, while the 10yr Bund yield declined 5bps to close at 2.733%. The 2yr and 10yr Gilt yield fell 1bps and 4bps, respectively, to reach 4.81% and 4.383%.
The dollar gained against a basket of currencies on Friday. EURUSD declined 0.2% to 1.051 while GBPUSD fell almost 0.3% to close at 1.2143.
Commodity currencies were also weaker, with AUDUSD falling 0.3% to 0.6296 and NZDUSD down 0.7% to 0.5885. USDCAD added 0.2% to settle at 1.366.
There was a sharp sell-off in global equity markets on Friday as rising geopolitical risk led to heightened risk-off sentiment, although many key indices still ended the week up compared to the previous Friday on the back of gains earlier in the week when the focus was on a softer messaging from FOMC minutes.
The Shanghai Composite ended the week 0.7% lower but the Hang Seng recorded a w/w gain of 1.9% while Japan’s Nikkei ended up 4.0% w/w despite losses on Friday.
The outlook was also mixed in Europe where the FTSE 100 ended up 1.4% w/w but the composite STOXX 600 closed down 0.2% with the DAX dropping 0.3% and the CAC losing 0.8% w/w.
In the US, the NASDAQ dropped 0.2% w/w but the S&P 500 gained 0.5% and the Dow Jones ended Friday up 0.8% compared with the previous week.
Locally, the ADX lost 2.8% w/w while the DFM dropped 4.8%.
After concerns around geopolitical tensions in the Middle East softened in the middle of the week and benchmark oil prices had returned to pre-conflict levels, renewed concerns around a potentially widening theatre saw prices rise sharply again on Friday.
Brent futures rose 5.7% on Friday to close at USD 90.9/b, up 7.5% w/w. Similarly, WTI added 5.8% on Friday to a close of USD 87.7/b, a w/w gain of 5.9%.