Scotland’s private sector grew for a second successive month in October, according to the latest headline Bank of Scotland Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). And companies continued to add to their payrolls despite facing the sharpest increase in input costs since September 2011.
But the survey also revealed a slower expansion of Scotland’s private sector, as output growth weakened, new business levels stagnated and volumes of incomplete work deteriorated.
The index of manufacturing and services output dipped to 50.6 in October (a reading above 50 indicates growth) from 51.2 in September (a reading above 50 indicates growth) 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. But new order intake stagnated, a fractional increase in new business at service providers was weighed down by a slight contraction in the manufacturing sector.
Job creation continued for a third successive month. That said, the latest increase in staffing levels was the weakest during this trend. Cost pressures also intensified at the sharpest pace for over five years, with panel members linking this to the depreciation of the pound.