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South West business activity grew at faster rate last month

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 16 November 2017 9:03

South West business activity grew at faster rate last month

Business growth in the South West recovered from September’s three-month low during October, with firms experiencing increased demand for their products and services, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index.

The South West PMI recorded 54.0 in October, rising from 52.9 in September. A reading above 50 signals growth in business activity.

The rate of expansion was solid and in line with the average for 2017 so far.     

Businesses in the region continued to create new jobs as a result of increased client demand in October, continuing a trend of increasing headcounts since July last year.

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Although cost pressures remained a concern for businesses, input price inflation eased in October. Despite this, many firms still raised selling prices to protect margins.

David Beaumont, regional director for SME banking in the South West, said: “Local firms started the final quarter of the year on a stronger footing and it’s encouraging to see business activity growth rebound from September’s three-month low.

“This expansion was a result of a rise in new orders, which, in turn, created more regional jobs. This bodes well for the near-term outlook, suggesting an economic upturn as we head towards the end of 2017.”

 

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