Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Business activity improves for 14th consecutive month, RBS figures show

RBS said April was the fourteenth consecutive month of growth (Jane Barlow/PA)
RBS said April was the fourteenth consecutive month of growth (Jane Barlow/PA)

Business activity improved for the fourteenth consecutive month in April, but leaders are concerned about rising inflation, according to the latest figures from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

The monthly purchasing managers index (PMI) for April showed that the RBS business activity index rose to 58.9 – up from 58.4 in March.

Positive indicators were supported by a strong upturn in manufacturing production. An expansion in services activity was recorded again.

Scotland’s private sector also noted a rise in new business received during April, with client demand rising with the reduction in Covid restrictions.

Business leaders also have strong optimism, with respondents reporting they felt positive about expectations over the next year with hopes of an economic recovery.

However, optimism is still at an 18-month low and is below the UK-wide average as firms grow concerned about rising inflation.

Firms took on more workers during April but the pace of job creation has eased to the joint-softest in the last year.

Businesses are building capacity to cope with the current and anticipated future demand. Employment growth in Scotland was, however, firmly below the UK average.

Companies also reported additional cost burdens in April due to higher labour costs, fuel, food and energy prices.

RBS
Malcolm Buchanan, RBS (Warren Media/PA)

Malcolm Buchanan, chairman, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Scotland’s private sector improved strongly during April as business activity increased at the fastest rate for almost a year.

“Although growth momentum waned slightly across the service firms, the increase was sharp as firms continued to reap rewards from reduced Covid-19 restrictions.

“Meanwhile, goods producers saw an upturn in output and order book volumes after experiencing a downturn in March.

“Inflationary pressures continued to build and were further aggravated by ongoing supply chain issues.

“According to the evidence, higher raw material, fuel, energy and labour costs resulted in the steepest increase in input prices on record.

“Subsequently, charges were also raised to the greatest extent ever seen by the survey as firms sought to cover rapid cost inflation.

“The level of confidence slipped the lowest in 18 months as firms raised their concerns about the economic impact of inflation.

“Nevertheless, it still indicated a robust level of optimism as many firms were hopeful of activity growing in the coming 12 months.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]