Key findings

  • Strongest fall in business activity in 11 months
  • Sustained decline in new orders
  • Employment growth remains resilient  


The latest Royal Bank of Scotland PMI® survey signalled a second monthly deterioration in private sector activity during October. Moreover, the headline Scotland Business Activity Index - a measure of combined manufacturing and service sector output - fell to 46.5 from 49.3 in September, indicating the sharpest decline since November last year. Worsening underlying demand conditions and the cost-of-living crisis were said to have contributed towards the latest fall in output. Additionally, the downturn across Scotland was more pronounced than that recorded for the UK as a whole. Despite souring business conditions, Scottish private sector firms increased their workforce numbers in October. The rate of job creation was the fastest in five months. and the quickest seen of all the UK nations and regions. Judith Cruickshank, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, commented: "With demand taking a step back over the last couple of months, the Scottish private sector displayed further weakness at the start of the final quarter. Spurred by sharper declines across both the manufacturing and services sector, business activity dropped at an accelerated pace in October. The downturn was the most pronounced in 11 months. Nonetheless, waning demand helped to assuage inflationary pressures, which were much weaker than this time last year. That said, rising costs for raw materials and renewed pressure from rising global prices meant that cost burdens, and in turn selling prices, still rose at historically elevated rates. However, employment trends remained resilient, with workforce numbers rising at the quickest pace in five months.”


Please see the report in full:


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

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