Scottish business activity continued to recover in April, with the pace of growth picking up from March, according to a financial report.
The latest Royal Bank of Scotland purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose from 54.3 March to 55.4 in April, the quickest rate of growth in eight months.
Respondents said they were taking on more staff for the first time since January 2020, though the increase was only marginal.
Anecdotal evidence collected for the PMI said business confidence was down to improved sales, easing lockdown restrictions and hopes of strong growth alongside an economic recovery.
RBS’s Malcolm Buchanan said: “April data highlighted further gains for the Scottish private sector as it continues on its recovery path.
“Business activity rose for the second month in a row, with the latest upturn the strongest for eight months.
“Key to growth was a renewed rise in new work and one that was the strongest for nearly three years.
“Further positive news came from employment, with companies adding to staff numbers for the first time in over a year – a clear sign that firms are confident of a recovery. Indeed, the year-ahead outlook for activity remained historically elevated.
“Overall the data are very encouraging and suggest the private sector has turned a corner towards recovery.
“With lockdown measures set to ease further, we should see a sustained rebound in the months to come.”