Royal Bank of Scotland PMI report for April 2024

Business activity rises further in April

Key findings

  • Service providers drive private sector expansion 
  • Sustained rise in new business
  • Price pressures intensify 


The headline Royal Bank of Scotland Business Activity Index – a seasonally adjusted index that measures the month-on-month change in the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors – ticked up slightly from 53.6 in March to 53.8 in April, thereby signalling the sharpest rise in Scottish private sector output since April 2023. Again, the upturn was heavily reliant on the service sector, where a strong expansion in activity helped offset a steeper decline at manufacturers. In fact, the divergence between the two sectors was among the largest recorded in over 26 years of data collection. The trend in output reflected underlying demand conditions. Manufacturers posted another drop in new orders, while services firms reported a further rise in inflows of new work.

Judith Cruickshank, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, commented: "Scottish private sector companies signalled a solid start to the second quarter, with expansions now noted in each month of 2024. Activity rose at a quicker pace as growth in new business was sustained. However, as has been the case since the current expansion in activity began, growth was limited to service providers, while the manufacturing sector remained in contraction territory. Moreover, inflationary pressures also quickened notably, with service firms being the main reason behind the stickiness in prices and charges."


Please see the regional report in full:


Royal Bank of Scotland UK Regional PMI (PDF, 1,816KB)

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