Scotland business

Scottish business activity continues to rise, BoS report suggests

Grinder in factory Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Manufacturers were found to have recorded rising overall new orders in August

Business activity in Scotland's private sector rose solidly in August although the rate of growth slowed, according to the Bank of Scotland.

The bank's latest purchasing managers survey found expansion in manufacturing and services, along with the fastest increase in employment in six months.

Manufacturers recorded rising overall new orders, although they saw a fall in export sales.

The figures are thought to indicate high levels of business confidence.

The bank's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) - a measure of the month-on-month change in combined manufacturing and services business activity - was at 54.6, down from July's six-month high of 56.8.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "August saw a broad-based rise in business activity across both the services and manufacturing sectors.

"Employment rose at the fastest rate for six months confirming continuing high levels of business confidence.

"The Scottish economy continues to recover and grow in the second half of 2014."

The study recorded that Scottish private sector employment remained "on the up" as a result of growing workloads.

The extent of August's increase in staffing numbers was the most marked since February and in excess of the UK average.

Output growth remained robust despite a slower rate of increase in incoming new business in August - the least marked in 16 months.

Behind this slowdown was a moderated rate of new business growth at services firms. Average output prices also fell slightly.

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