The latest figures in a monthly survey indicate that new business wins have witnessed their fastest growth since last Spring.
The news was announced by the Bank of Scotland, as it published the results of their December Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI). It offers a glimmer of hope for the economy, despite falling numbers in manufacturing orders over the same period.
The increase has been seen in the service industry, and shows that the sector continues to maintain the growth experienced in previous months. Overall, the increase is at the largest rates they have been since April 2011.
There was promising news for employment rates too, as these increased in the last month of the year, though at slovenly rate. In November, the employment index was at 51.1, with December increasing to 51.2; any figure above 50 is reflective of an increase.
Though a marginal increase, it shows that many businesses are still losing staff, in a bid to balance their books with cash flow still an issue. Lending is still at low levels forcing the hand of many business leaders, though new strategies such as invoice factoring is helping many,
The service sector continues to buck the trend, largely supported by new products being brought to market and proactive promotions and marketing.
The continued slump in the manufacturing sector will be a greater concern than gains in the service sector can mitigate. However, the falls seen are at lower rates than [previous months, so some are hoping this could sway to an increase in the first quarter of 2012.