Scots private sector economy expands

Output in Scotland’s private sector economy “expanded solidly” at the start of the fourth quarter, according to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland PMI.

“New orders increased at a stronger pace, while extra recruitment facilitated a reduction in backlogs of work,” said the report.

“Sharper cost pressures were reported, although output prices were increased to the softest extent in ten months.

“Meanwhile, confidence towards future output volumes dipped to a one-year low amid uncertainty surrounding future UK-EU relations.”

The seasonally adjusted headline Royal Bank of Scotland PMI was unchanged from the previous month in October, posting 53.4.

“This signalled a solid expansion in private sector output and one that was sharper than that for the UK as a whole,” continued the report.

“Sector data indicated that the expansion was broad-based, although service companies observed a noticeably stronger rise in business activity than their manufacturing counterparts.

“Greater inflows of new work were recorded during October, with new orders increasing at a broadly similar pace to business activity.

“Furthermore, the latest increase was the strongest of all 12 monitored UK regions.

“New contract wins, promotional efforts and new product offerings supported the sales growth.

“That said, the upturn was driven by the service sector, with goods producers noting a second successive deterioration in demand conditions.

“To accommodate for demand pressures, service providers raised staffing levels moderately in October.

“With manufacturers scaling back on employment only slightly, the net result was a modest increase in overall private sector workforce numbers during October.

“The overall rate of job creation was, however, the fastest in four months and outpaced the UK average …”