Scotland’s economy slowed for the first time in six months during September, a new report has indicated.
The Bank of Scotland’s monthly purchase managers index (PMI) – which measures performance in manufacturing and services by gathering data from about 600 companies – found private-sector activity declined last month.
The PMI provides a single-figure measure of the month-on-month change in combined manufacturing and services output.
September’s PMI was 49, compared with 50.8 in August, reflecting reported decreases in output from both sectors.
Volumes of new business fell at a marginal pace in September while backlogs of work also dropped.
Despite the decline, the latest data shows workforce numbers expanded at an increased rate.
Manufacturing firms in Scotland reported a fall in new orders, from both the domestic and foreign markets, in September.
Data collected from service-sector companies also highlighted a contraction in activity during the month.
Growth in employment was led by the service sector while manufacturing companies registered a more modest rise.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “September’s PMI showed a broad-based decline in economic activity across both service and manufacturing sectors.
“New export orders fell for the eighth month in a row.
“The slowdown in the Scottish economy identified in summer has taken further hold in the month of September but employment intentions suggest a return to moderate growth in coming months.”