Royal Bank of Scotland PMI report for February 2023

Renewed growth in the Scottish private sector activity

Key findings

  • Headline Business Activity Index at 51.0 in February, up from 47.1
  • Recovery in growth of new orders as firms cite greater demand
  • Price pressures continue to cool


The Business Activity Index - a measure of combined manufacturing and service sector output – moved back within in the expansion territory, printing 51.0, up from 47.1 in January, as growth resumed across both the manufacturing and service sectors, with the former leading the expansion. Panel members reported an improvement in demand conditions and growth in new clients helped boost activity. New orders also rose, following seven consecutive months of decline. The upturn in new orders helped with the first rise in workforce numbers in three months. Furthermore, despite remaining stubbornly high, cost pressures continued to diminish. All in all, the positive performance of the Scottish private sector fed into higher levels of confidence.


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

"Private sector output registered growth mid-way through the first quarter of 2023. The headline index signalled a mild expansion in output and marked the first month of increase since July 2022. Firms reported that a revival in customer demand and growth in new clients helped boost sales and activity. Growth in business requirements resulted in higher intakes of staff across both goods producers and service providers, while backlogs fell for the ninth month running.

“Furthermore, with inflationary pressures continuing to cool off, the Scottish private sector reported a modest performance overall, a change from the contractions seen since last August. Additionally, with confidence strengthening to an 11-month high, we hope that the upturn across Scotland will continue in the coming months.”


Please see the report in full:
Download the Scotland PMI Report Fenruary 2023 (PDF, 246kB)

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