Growth in Scotland’s Private Sector at Three Month High

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Tuesday November 14 2017

But Brexit woes hit home as rising inflation hits businesses.

Output growth in Scotland’s private sector has accelerated to a three-month high, the Bank of Scotland’s latest PMI report has found.

The survey indicated faster expansion in both manufacturing and services, extending the current sequence of expansion to ten months. 

This growth sits against a backdrop of rising production costs for manufacturers over the last 18 months, as the falling value of the pound and raw material price hikes have intensified cost pressures across the Scottish private sector.

While there continues to be an upbeat approach towards prospects for further growth, the level of optimism fell to its joint weakest since April.

Commenting, Tom Arthur MSP said:

“It is extremely encouraging to see positive growth in Scotland’s manufacturing and services sectors, as well as faster employment growth across Scotland’s private sector.

"But while there is much to be positive about, the Bank of Scotland’s PMI report also noted waning optimism about growth prospects in the private sector over the next year.

“With inflation growing at its fastest pace since May this year as well as mounting wage bills and rising prices of raw materials, fears and uncertainty around Brexit are really starting to hit home.

“Retailers Halfords, Laura Ashley and Sports Direct have all attributed their sliding profits to the fall in the pound, which is impacting customers at the till. 

“Nearly 17 months on since the referendum, we have seen very little progress from a Tory government that is too caught up fighting internal battles to focus on a Brexit deal in the interests of the country.

“These negotiations are too important to be left in the hands of a weak and divided Tory party.

“The Chancellor must use his upcoming Budget to reverse the plans for an extreme Brexit and signal an intention to end seven years of deeply damaging austerity.”



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