Yorkshire's economy started fourth quarter on strong footing, survey reveals

Businesses in Yorkshire hired staff at the highest rate in the year to date during October, according to the Lloyds Bank Regional Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) survey.

Yorkshire's economy has enjoyed a strong start to the fourth quarter
Yorkshire's economy has enjoyed a strong start to the fourth quarter

The increase comes after
September’s figures revealed the first month of employment growth in Yorkshire since January.

Business activity in the region also rose during the month at the sharpest rate since June 2015, driven by the largest increase in new orders in more than a year-and-a-half, the survey found.

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The Yorkshire and Humber’s PMI rose to 57.9 in October, up from 55.6 in September, signalling a marked expansion of business activity in the region that was above the UK average (54.8). A reading of 50 or above signals growth, while a reading below indicates a decline.

Companies reporting new orders linked this to greater demand from international clients as a result of the weaker pound. However, the weaker pound was also linked to input prices – including raw materials and salaries – increasing at the sharpest rate in five-and-a-half years during October.

Leigh Taylor, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said today: “The Yorkshire and Humber private sector economy started the fourth quarter on a strong footing.

“Activity growth picked up to a 16-month high, driven partly by a boost in international demand resulting from currency weakness.

“Payroll numbers rose at the fastest rate so far this year, however businesses’ cost pressures increased to the greatest extent in five-and-a-half years, leading to a strong rise in average
prices charged for goods and services.”

The Lloyds Bank Regional PMI was based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the volume of goods and services produced during October, compared with a month earlier.