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The organisation’s latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) found that growth in the manufacturing and service sectors was the best it has been in three months. New business activity and job creation rose at an extremely high rate throughout January. An increase in demand gave businesses greater pricing power, leading to the fastest rise in average output charges since last July.

Employment has seen a real boost in the first part of this year too, having rose for the fourteenth consecutive month – this, the longest sequence of net job creation in nearly six years. Chief Economist at the Bank of Scotland, Donald MacRae, said: “January’s PMI rose to 57.2 – its highest level for three months and back to the highs of last summer. Output grew strongly in both manufacturing and service sectors, accompanied by rising employment and increasing levels of new business.

“Business confidence continues to increase ensuring the Scottish economy not only continues the recovery, but enters 2014 with growth momentum.”

Finance Secretary John Swinney added: “The continued progress in Scotland’s economic recovery is helping to create more jobs and opportunities, with Scotland outperforming the UK in terms of employment, unemployment and inactivity rates.

“We know challenges will still remain as the recovery progresses, and that’s why there will be no let-up in the Scottish Government’s determination to secure economic growth through our investment programme in skills and capital projects.”

As business activity and consumer spending continues to rise, franchising is poised to take advantage of a new era of success in Scotland.


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