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Scottish private sector activity rises

Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 11, 2020
he seasonally adjusted headline Royal Bank of Scotland Business Activity Index posted 52.0 in January, up from 50.0 in December, to signal a modest increase in Scottish private sector activity following stagnant output in December.
Scottish factory
Business in Scotland   Panellists linked the increase with improved client demand in Scotland
Panellists linked the increase with improved client demand in Scotland.

Topics: Scottish private sector

That said, the uptick was subdued in the context of the series history and softer than that seen at the UK level.

By sector, service providers recorded an eighth successive monthly rise in activity, with growth quickening from December.

Meanwhile, output continued to fall in the manufacturing segment, although the decline was the softest in the current eightmonth sequence of reduction and only fractional overall.

Overall demand conditions rebounded in January, with incoming new business rising following a contraction in December.

Anecdotal evidence associated the rise with improved client demand as a result of increased confidence and subsiding uncertainty.

That said, the rate of increase was only mild overall.

Moreover, of the ten monitored UK areas to record growth, only the South West reported a softer increase than Scotland (Northern Ireland and the North East saw declines).

Amid improved demand, Scottish private sector firms recorded a rise in workforce numbers during January.

The rate of increase was only marginal, however.