Scottish economy continues to grow in April albeit at slowest pace in 2014

The Scottish economy continued to grow in April but the pace of growth slipped to slowest level to date this year, according to the Bank of Scotland purchasing managers' index (PMI).

The latest Bank of Scotland PMI revealed that growth in both services and manufacturing sectors but the pace of growth in output in the month under review fell from the previous three months of this year.

The PMI slipped from 56.4 in March to 54.8 in April this year. It was the lowest reading so far this year. It may be noted here that a reading of above 50 marks expansion, while a reading of below 50 stands for contraction in an economic sector.

The report noted that faster rises in new business and work backlogs pointed to the economic expansion being sustained; while also reveling that 80 per cent of Scottish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has plans to make a significant investment in the next year.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said April's PMI was a solid one, and the recovery was broad-based. Commenting on the PMI report, MacRae said, "The recovery is broad-based with output growing in both services and manufacturing sectors, accompanied by rising employment and a growing level of new business."

Manufacturers saw a marginal decline in new export orders for the third month in a row. MacRae added that a stronger pound might be contributing to the fall in new export orders.