Key Findings

  • Private sector activity declines solidly in November
  • Stronger reduction in new orders
  • Growth in employment quickens


The latest Royal Bank of Scotland PMI® signalled a solid reduction in Scottish private  sector activity in November. At 47.1, up from 46.5 in October, the Scotland Business Activity Index posted below the crucial 50.0 mark for the third month running. The decline in private sector activity reflected a sharp and accelerated fall in manufacturing output and a weaker reduction in services activity. The downturn in output was propelled by a stronger reduction in new orders, as underlying demand conditions worsened. Nonetheless, firms continued to increase their workforce numbers in November and at the strongest pace in six months. This in turn led firms to further reduce their backlogs.


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

"Businesses across Scotland struggled to raise their activity as waning demand and growing market uncertainty hampered sales in November. Moreover, with expectations remaining historically muted, the downturn could continue into the new year.

"However, despite the setbacks private sector companies are facing, the labour market remains resilient. Employment levels expanded for the tenth month running in November. Moreover, growth in payroll numbers was noted across both the manufacturing and services sectors.”


Please see the regional report in full:


Royal Bank of Scotland UK Regional PMI (PDF, 277KB)

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