Scots job creation hits quickest pace in four years

Scottish private sector business activity in June rose at the quickest pace since August 2014, with job creation running at the quickest pace since February 2014, according to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland purchasing managers’ index (PMI) report.

“Inflows of new work increased at the fastest pace in almost four years, prompting firms to expand employment markedly …” said the report.

“The seasonally adjusted headline Royal Bank of Scotland PMI increased to 54.5 in June, from 53.7 in May, to signal the strongest expansion in Scottish private sector output since August 2014.

“Furthermore, growth across both the manufacturing and service sectors accelerated.

“Panellists linked the upturn in business activity to improved demand conditions.

“New business increased solidly during June, with the pace of growth quickening to a 47-month high.

“Increased new sales to both new and existing clients were reported by firms.

“That said, June’s increase was weaker than that seen for the UK as a whole for the first time since March …

“In an effort to boost output capabilities, employment was expanded to the greatest degree in 52 months during June.

“In fact, the rate of job creation noticeably outpaced that for the UK as a whole …

“An optimistic outlook towards output was sustained in the latest survey period.

“The level of positive sentiment was the strongest since January.

“Projections of improved demand and planned new marketing campaigns were linked to the upturn in business confidence.”

Malcolm Buchanan, chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Private sector output growth continued to gather momentum as the second quarter ended, with the pace of expansion quickening for the third straight survey to reach a 46-month high.

“Indeed, operating conditions remain robust, with strong new order inflows encouraging businesses to hire extra staff to the greatest extent in almost four-and-a-half years.

“At the same time, panellists indicated that higher employment had contributed to another month of sharp input cost inflation,adding strain to profit margins.”