Royal Bank of Scotland PMI Report for April 2022

A summary of this month’s Royal Bank of Scotland Purchasing Managers’ Index Report. Private sector activity growth accelerates to 11-month high in April.

Key findings

  • Renewed expansion in manufacturing output boosts overall activity
  • Input price and output charge inflation rates hit new survey highs
  • Business confidence falls to 18-month low


This is the Purchasing Managers’ Index Report for Scotland. View the UK regional report.

The latest uptick was supported by a strong and renewed upturn in manufacturing production, although a sharp expansion in services activity was recorded once again. Moreover, the rate of growth across Scotland accelerated for the fourth consecutive month to the quickest since May 2021.

Scotland's private sector noted a rise in new business received during April. Posting above the 50.0 no-change threshold for the thirteenth successive month, the respective seasonally adjusted index slipped from March's four-month high but was nonetheless indicted a strong expansion in new orders. According to firms, greater client demand was mainly driven by reduced pandemic restrictions. 

The increase in new business inflows across firms in Scotland was quicker than that seen at the UK level. 

Malcolm Buchanan, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, commented:

"Scotland’s private sector improved strongly during April as business activity increased at the fastest rate for almost a year. Although growth momentum waned slightly across the service firms, the increase was sharp as firms continued to reap rewards from reduced COVID-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, goods producers saw an upturn in output and order book volumes after experiencing a downturn in March.  

“Inflationary pressures continued to build and were further aggravated by ongoing supply chain issues. According to the evidence, higher raw material, fuel, energy and labour costs resulted in the steepest increase in input prices on record. Subsequently, charges were also raised to the greatest extent ever seen by the survey as firms sought to cover rapid cost inflation. 

“The level of confidence slipped the lowest in 18 months as firms raised their concerns about the economic impact of inflation. Nevertheless, it still indicated a robust level of optimism as many firms were hopeful of activity growing in the coming 12 months.”

The results in full

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