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Growth momentum picked up in the Scottish private sector in May

Staff Writer | June 12, 2017
May’s survey data suggested that growth momentum picked up in the Scottish private sector, with output increasing by the greatest degree since February, according to the latest Bank of Scotland Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
Scotland factory
Scotland   Bank of Scotland
Services business activity returned to growth and the expansion in manufacturing production remained strong in May, both contributing to the overall upturn. In terms of inflation, price pressures eased from recent peaks, although only marginally. Meanwhile, business confidence towards the next 12 months hit a four-month high.

The seasonally adjusted headline Bank of Scotland PMI - a single-figure measure of the month-onmonth change in combined manufacturing and services output - rose to 51.5 in May, from 50.6 in April. The rate of growth signalled remained below the historical series average since January 1998, however.

Prices pressures eased marginally in May, but remained steep overall. The rates of inflation for both input and output prices signalled in Scotland were above those seen across the UK as a whole. Input price inflation remained strong, despite easing slightly since April.

Anecdotal evidence suggested that rising salaries and high raw material prices added to cost pressures for firms.

Finally, sentiment towards future growth prospects remained strongly positive in the latest survey.

Optimism was broad-based across both the service and manufacturing sectors, albeit slightly higher in the latter. Panellists attributed confidence to an expected economic upturn.