Output in Scottish private sector increases
LONDON: In November, output in the Scottish private sector increased albeit at the softest pace since March. Weak activity growth coincided with a softer rise in new business.
However, businesses increased employment in line with a stronger degree of confidence regarding future output. The seasonally adjusted headline Bank of Scotland PMI® - a single-figure measure of the month-on-month change in combined manufacturing and services output - declined in November to 50.2, from 52.7 in October. The pace of expansion was marginal and the weakest since March.
New orders placed with Scottish private sector firms increased at a weaker pace. Growth of new business was mild and eased to the slowest across the current 12-month period of expansion. Businesses remained upbeat towards future growth prospects despite sluggish growth in output and demand. In fact, the degree of optimism edged higher across the private sector. Amid greater business confidence, firms added to their payrolls for a sixth consecutive month in November. However, the rate of job creation across the Scottish private sector was modest and eased slightly.
Twenty percent Scottish homeowners plan to take their next step on the property ladder within the next five years but face a number of barriers.
A twenty-one percent of homeowners say that the inability to find the right property within budget is the key blocker for buying their next home, according to research from Bank of Scotland. High stamp duty and the overall cost of moving are causing the number of people thinking of moving house to fall. The report found that increasing house prices (19%), the cost of moving (19%) and stamp duty costs (16%) are all cited as issues that stand in the way of homeowners making that next move. And broader financial pressures may also be constraining market activity, with one in three (35%) also stating that they would need a significant pay rise to help make the jump.
Aside from financial factors, the whole house moving process is also causing more people to hang on to their properties instead of selling. Two fifths (43%) of homeowners across Scotland also said that the process of finding a suitable home discouraged them from looking to move. Alongside, being uprooted from their local community (27%), dealing with estate agents (18%), and the uncertain economic outlook (15%) was also blamed.
Other areas with modest increases include Perth and Kinross (2), Dundee City (1), Highlands (1) and Midlothian (1). East Lothian and Glasgow City are the two areas with the next highest number of million pound property sales from this market segment and saw no change from this time last year, both accounting for 8% of Scottish sales.