Scottish economy growth is fastest in UK, Royal Bank survey reveals

SCOTLAND recorded the fastest economic growth of any of the UK nations and regions in August, a key survey published today reveals.

Royal Bank of Scotland’s seasonally adjusted business activity index for the private-sector economy north of the Border rose from 57.5 in July to 58.1 in August, rising further above the 50 no-change mark to top the table of the 12 UK nations and regions.

This index is a combined measure of manufacturing and services sector output.

Employment in Scotland’s private-sector economy grew for a fifth straight month in August and, although the pace of job-creation eased, it remained sharp, Royal Bank noted.

Setting out the survey findings, the bank said: “Business activity growth eased across the majority of regions for the third month in a row in August. Only Scotland, which recorded an index reading of 58.1 and topped the rankings narrowly ahead of Wales (58.0), saw a faster rate of expansion than in July.”

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Royal Bank noted the weakest increases in output in August were in north-east England, the East Midlands and Northern Ireland.

Malcolm Buchanan, who chairs Royal Bank’s Scotland board, said: “August data pointed to a further rapid expansion of Scotland’s private-sector economy, with the rate of growth re-accelerating from July and outpacing the UK as a whole by a wide margin. Services continued to record a faster upturn than manufacturing, although the differential narrowed slightly.”

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He added: “Inflows of new work increased sharply again, as looser lockdown measures continued to boost client demand and, as a result, firms took on staff for the fifth month running.

“Overall, the latest PMI data signals another strong performance for the Scottish private sector. Inflationary pressures remain a concern, but do not seem to be hindering the economic rebound as growth remains close to the survey record pace seen in May.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992