Job growth in Scots private sector at 16-year high

BoS's Donald MacRae welcomed the news
BoS's Donald MacRae welcomed the news
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SCOTTISH firms are creating jobs at their fastest rate in at least 16 years as the recovery strengthens across the manufacturing and service sectors.

The latest Bank of Scotland purchasing managers’ index (PMI) report, published today, shows the continuation of strong growth of private sector activity in February, with the employment section hitting its highest score since the survey began.

Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae said: “February’s PMI showed the private sector of the Scottish economy continuing to demonstrate strong growth.

“The rise in employment was the steepest in 16 years of the survey, while the improvement in new work was particularly strong among service businesses.”

MacRae said the PMI readings for the last five months suggested the Scottish economy is entering the spring of 2014 with sufficient growth momentum to imminently regain its pre-recession peak of mid-2008.

His comments come as the British Chambers of Commerce upgraded its growth forecasts for the next two years and said the UK economy should pass its pre-recession peak by July.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses’ latest quarterly confidence report shows Scottish business confidence has risen to match the UK average. Confidence reached its highest level since the data series began at the start of 2010.