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Upturn in Scotland’s private sector eases at start of Q4

Staff Writer |
October survey data pointed to a slower expansion of Scotland’s private sector, as output growth weakened, new business levels stagnated and volumes of incomplete work deteriorated.

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Companies continued to add to their payrolls despite facing the sharpest increase in input costs since September 2011.

Moreover, a further rise in output charges was reported, although the rate of inflation was weaker than that for input costs.

Scotland’s private sector grew for a second successive month, highlighted by the seasonally adjusted headline Bank of Scotland PMI falling to 50.6 in October, down from 51.2 in September, and pointing to a softer overall upturn.

The increase in output was broad-based across manufacturers and service providers, with both reporting marginal growth in business activity levels. New order intakes in Scotland’s private sector stagnated, following a marginal expansion the previous month.

A fractional increase in new business at service providers was weighed down by a slight contraction in the manufacturing sector. Job creation continued in Scotland’s private sector for a third successive month.

That said, the latest increase in staffing levels was the weakest during this trend. Scotland’s private sector companies reported the quickest deterioration in outstanding business for eight months

Where a decline in incomplete work was recorded, firms generally reflected on a fall in new orders, stemming from market uncertainty.

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