According to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland PMI, the Scottish private sector returned to growth during August, with business activity rising at the quickest pace for more than six years amid the fastest uptick in new work since late 2018.

The seasonally adjusted headline Royal Bank of Scotland Business Activity Index – a measure of combined manufacturing and service sector output – rose from 49.3 in July, to 55.8 in August, to signal the first increase in Scottish private sector output since February. Moreover, the latest figure was the highest for over six years.

Malcolm Buchanan, chair of the Scotland board at Royal Bank of Scotland, commented: “The Scottish private sector showed some very encouraging signs in August. Business activity rose at the quickest rate since July 2014 and new orders increased for the first time since February, amid reports that looser lockdown restrictions had allowed the economy to reopen and released pent-up client demand.

“Still, things are not back to normal. Capacity pressures remained weak and, as a result, firms made further cuts to their workforces. The rate of job shedding remained sharp, despite easing further from April’s record.

“Although data provided positive signs that the recovery is beginning, ongoing improvements in demand conditions are needed to ensure it keeps momentum.”

To read the full report, visit here

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