Royal Bank of Scotland PMI report for February 2024

Growth in private sector activity gains momentum.

Key findings

  • Growth in private sector output strongest since mid-2023
  • Renewed rise in new business
  • Growth largely services-driven


The latest Royal Bank of Scotland PMI® revealed a further rise in output across the Scottish private sector midway through the opening quarter. While below the UK-wide average, the headline 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 – rose to 52.1 in February from 51.7 in January, to signal the strongest expansion in private sector output since June 2023. However, similar to that seen in January, growth in output was concentrated in the service sector. That said, a softer contraction in manufacturing output meant that the downward pressure on overall performance eased somewhat.

Additionally, the employment picture again strengthened in February. Both the tracked sub-sectors of the economy recorded growth in staffing levels, with the overall rate of job creation ticking up to a nine-month high.

Judith Cruickshank, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, commented:

"February numbers for Scotland signalled solid gains across the private sector. The fresh growth seen at the start of the year was sustained and even strengthened, as the downward pressure from the manufacturing sector dissipated slightly, and growth across the service sector was maintained. However, the latest expansion across the Scottish private sector was heavily reliant on the service sector, while goods producers failed to perform under the weight of a worsening demand climate. That said, the recent expansion in employment across both the sub-sectors alludes to more balanced growth in the coming months.


Please see the regional report in full:


Royal Bank of Scotland UK Regional PMI (PDF, 1,815KB)

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