Scottish economy 'growing but slowing', says Bank of Scotland
The Scottish economy appears to be "growing but slowing", according to Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae.
His comments came as the bank's latest Report on Jobs found a slower rise in the number of staff placed in permanent jobs by recruitment consultancies.
The number of temporary staff placed in employment increased in November.
But the report also found the rate of growth easing to its slowest pace since April.
The survey follows a recent report by a leading economic forecaster, the EY Scottish Item Club, which predicted that Scotland's economy will continue to grow next year - but at a slower rate.
The Bank of Scotland's Labour Market Barometer slipped to 60.1 in November, from 65.0 in October, suggesting another improvement in overall labour market conditions in Scotland.
However, it was the slowest rate of improvement since September last year.
It was also below the equivalent index for the UK jobs market as a whole for the first time in five months.
The barometer measures areas such as levels of staff demand, employment and wages to create a single-figure snapshot of labour market conditions.
Mr MacRae said: "November's Report on Jobs showed further growth in the number of people appointed to jobs although the pace of increase eased to its lowest level for seven months.
"Vacancies for permanent jobs rose but at a slower rate than earlier in the year. These results indicate Scotland's economy growing but slowing."
The report found that salaries increased last month as demand for staff remained strong.
However, the pace of expansion in permanent jobs vacancies was down considerably from the highs seen earlier in the year and the lowest overall since September 2013, the report said.
Demand for temporary staff increased at a sharp and slightly accelerated rate in November, extending the current sequence of growth to 61 months.
There was also a slower deterioration in the availability of candidates, although the rate of decline remained "substantial" overall.
The IT and computing sector performed best on permanent jobs, while the nursing/medical/care sector led a broad-based increase in temporary staff demand.