Royal Bank of Scotland PMI report for October 2022

A summary of this month’s Royal Bank of Scotland Purchasing Managers’ Index report. Downturn across Scotland deepens amid falling demand.

Key findings

  • Business Activity Index falls to 45.8 in October from 48.0 in September
  • Contraction in new orders quickens
  • Growth in employment further weakens


Adjusted for seasonality, the Business Activity Index posted below the neutral 50.0 threshold for the third month running, at 45.8, indicating a sharp decrease overall. Inflows of new business also went into further decline, the latest downturn being the most severe in 20 months. To further add weakness across the sector, inflationary pressures reaccelerated from September's recent low, as service providers reported quicker upturns in input costs and charges during October. The gloomy performance resulted to the softest intake of workers in 18 months, with goods producers reporting their first reduction in employment since January 2021.

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

"The Scottish private sector reported a third month of contraction during October. The downturn in activity quickened on the month, as stubbornly high inflationary pressures, the ongoing cost of living crisis and a threat of recession deterred growth. New orders received at firms also fell further.

"Employment trends across the sector indicated a slowdown in hiring activity over the recent months. The latest upturn was the joint-softest in the current 19-month sequence of expansion. At the same time, the level of outstanding business also fell at a much sharper rate. The data thus suggesting the further weakness in the labour market will not be surprising.

"As we proceed into the final quarter of the year, market conditions are set to become more challenging. The aggressive interest rate hikes, the decline in the value of sterling against the dollar and the rebound in post-COVID demand phasing out, all amidst the ongoing cost of living and energy crises, all point to an extremely difficult period for Scotland."


Download the Scotland PMI Report October 2022 (PDF, 250KB)

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