The Bank of Scotland’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) shows continued economic growth in Scotland’s private sector last month.
The pace of expansion in output was the slowest in 2014 so far but faster increases in new business and backlogs of work pointed to an upturn being sustained.
Job market conditions also improved during April, with private-sector companies adding to their payroll numbers for the 17th straight month.
Staff hiring rates were the slowest since January but still “solid”, the report says.
The PMI is compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing bosses of about 600 manufacturing and service sector companies.
It registered 54.8 in April, which was down from 56.4 the previous month and the lowest reading this year.
However, experts said the opening quarter of 2014 saw relatively high readings and April’s figure was “still consistent with a solid rate of expansion overall”.
Anything above 50 constitutes growth, 50 means no change and below 50 suggests economic contraction.
Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae said: “The recovery is broad-based, with output growing in both services and manufacturing sectors, accompanied by rising employment and a growing level of new business.”
A separate report from the Confederation of British Industry warns about overheating in the housing market, saying interest rates will need to rise early next year.
In its regular assessment of UK plc’s prospects, the CBI has also raised its growth forecast for this year from 2.6% to 3%.