The UAE non-oil private sector lost further growth momentum at the start of the fourth quarter with business conditions improving at the least-marked pace in two-and-a-half years, according to a key indicator released on Tuesday. Along with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two of the region's largest economies, registered continued declines. For the UAE, underpinning the slowdown were weaker expansions in output and new orders, but the respective rates of increase were nevertheless robust overall. Employment rose only modestly, as did stocks of purchases. On the price front, total input costs continued to increase solidly, while charges rose only marginally amid reports of competitive pressures, according to Emirates NBD, a leading Dubai-based lender. The Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers' Index for the UAE fell to 54 from 56 in September, the lowest since April 2013, the bank said.