Further growth in Scots output in June; employment up

The Royal Bank of Scotland Growth Tracker report has signalled a further rise in private sector output across Scotland in June.

Employment rose in the latest survey period, but at the second-weakest rate since the current run of expansion began in February 2023.

The headline Business Activity Index posted above the neutral 50.0 mark, but ticked down to a five- month low of 51.9, from 55.2 in May, reflecting a recent cooldown in service sector activity.

“Despite easing slightly on the month, projections for the year ahead outlook across Scotland remained optimistic and broadly in line with the long-run average trend in June,” said the report.

“Businesses were hopeful that demand conditions would improve in the coming months and planned to raise their advertising and investment.”

Judith Cruickshank, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, commented: “The Scotland Growth Tracker signalled modest gains in private sector activity during the latest survey period.

“While the upturn lost momentum, as the service sector observed a notable cooldown in June, the ongoing downturn in the manufacturing sector showed further signs of easing as output was broadly stable, and the downturn in new orders moderated.

“Additionally, private sector companies continued to raise their staffing levels, albeit the latest uptick was fractional overall.

“Price pressures continued to abate as the year progressed. Cost burdens rose at the weakest pace since February 2021, and the rate of charge inflation equalled the weakest seen over the same period. Some firms were keen to price competitively in order to generate new sales.”