Economic recovery in Scotland gains pace

Scotland's economic recovery is 'quickening' with record growth in business activity and new work in August, according to figures from the Bank of Scotland.

However, the pace of growth remains below that experienced in the rest of the UK.

Key figures from the Bank of Scotland and Markit PMI survey include:

  • Output/business activity - The service sector showed the largest increase in business activity on a month-by-month basis since May 2007. The manufacturing sector experienced the second-fastest pace of growth in two-and-a-half years
  • New business activity - Growth in services firms gained momentum. Overall, growth in new business activity was led by increased marketing efforts and improved business confidence, said panel members
  • Private sector employment - Rose at its fastest rate in more than six years.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said August's figures indicated that economic recovery in Scotland was continuing.

"The latest month's results set two records for the survey showing a sharp increase in business activity and new work accompanied by a strong rise in employment. Particularly welcome is the rise in new export orders to the highest level since May of last year. The pace of the economic recovery in Scotland is clearly quickening but would be further enhanced by firms increasing investment."

A separate report from the Bank of Scotland said that Scotland's food and drink industry would continue to boom over the next five years, with the possible creation of an extra 5,600 jobs by 2018.

Its findings indicate that the industry is set to exceed the target set by trade body Scotland Food and Drink of generating £12.5 billion turnover by 2017.

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