RBS data

Service sector underpins private sector growth

IFSD Glasgow
Glasgow’s financial services district (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Scotland’s expanding service sector has driven private sector output to its highest since last June.

The latest Royal Bank of Scotland purchasing managers index shows that, as in January, growth across the economy was concentrated in the service sector with a sharp contraction in factory orders hitting manufacturing output.

Employment strengthened again in February, with the overall rate of job creation ticking up to a nine-month high.

The rate of growth in new business across Scotland was slightly weaker than the UK average, while confidence across Scotland was the second-weakest of the 12 monitored UK nations and regions, with only the North East of England recording weaker sentiment in February.

Judith Cruickshank, chair of the RBS Scotland board, said: “The latest expansion across the Scottish private sector was heavily reliant on the service sector, while goods producers failed to perform under the weight of a worsening demand climate.

“That said, the recent expansion in employment across both the sub-sectors alludes to more balanced growth in the coming months.”

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