Bank of Scotland PMI survey

Scottish output maintains moderate growth

Keith Brown

Keith Brown: confidence remains positive (photo by Terry Murden)

Scottish private sector output has softened since the 33-month high recorded in July, although it increased at its second-fastest rate for over two years, according to new data.

Manufacturing output registered a marked rate of expansion while service sector activity grew at a more modest pace. On the price front, price pressures remained sharp in August.

The seasonally adjusted headline Bank of Scotland PMI fell from 53.8 in July to 52.2 in August. 

Job creation in the Scottish private sector was solid in the latest survey, with the latest data extending the current sequence of growth to three months. Companies reported that they hired additional staff to meet rising output requirements. 

Optimism towards future growth prospects softened in the latest survey. The level of confidence remained positive overall, however, with many panellists expecting an economic upturn. 

Fraser Sime, regional director, Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking said: “Although the most recent figure represented a slowdown in growth, the rate of expansion remained moderate overall and one of the strongest recorded over the past two years.

“Job creation also remained strong, with many panellists reporting that salaries were being pushed up as a result of the tight labour market. Furthermore, rising staff and raw material costs were key drivers behind the latest increase in price pressures. 

“Despite the upturn seen in the sector over the past two months, confidence towards future growth prospects softened to a four-month low in August, indicating a muted level of optimism from businesses operating in Scotland.”

Economy Secretary Keith Brown, said: “The latest Bank of Scotland PMI figures signal further expansion in Scotland’s private sector output and employment in August, supported by growth in new business, whilst business confidence remains positive.

“These results are a further vote of confidence in the Scottish economy with GDP growth almost four times that of the UK over the first three months of the year, and employment at a record high. “



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