Royal Bank of Scotland PMI report for April 2023

Output growth quickens in April

Key findings

  • Strongest growth in private sector output in ten months
  • Fastest rises in input costs and output charges since January
  • Confidence weakens to three-month low

According to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland PMI® survey, private sector activity grew at a strong and quickened pace at the start of the second quarter. The headline Business Activity Index ticked up for the third month running, posting a ten-month high of 54.3, up from 52.9 in March. According to surveyed firms, increased customer activity was key to the latest upturn in Scottish private sector output. New orders also increased for the third month running. That said, the rates of growth across Scotland for both variables were weaker than those seen at the UK level. 




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

"Private sector companies across Scotland recorded further rises in activity and new business during the latest survey period, with the former expanding at the quickest pace in ten months. The positive trends also prompted firms to up their hiring activity. Payroll numbers have risen in each month since February, with the latest round of job creation the joint-strongest in one-and-a-half years. Despite the increase in payroll numbers, the level of unfinished work grew following ten consecutive months of decline, suggesting renewed pressure on capacity. Looking ahead, sentiment among private sector firms towards future output was the weakest in three months but remained stronger than the historical average, with expectations of improved demand conditions to support output growth. 

"Elsewhere, the data pointed to stubborn price pressures. Input and output price inflation both ticked up to three-month highs in April, though they remained below their 2022 peaks."


Please see the report in full:
Download the Scotland PMI Report April 2023

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