North East companies have reported a decline in employment figures due to slowing growth rates since October, according to the latest North East PMI®.
However, businesses have continued to see an improvement in activity throughout November, with an increase in goods and services going to market, thanks to a boost to firms’ order books.
The latest Lloyds Banking Group North East PMI – or purchasing managers’ index – fell from 53.8 to 52.2 in November. A reading of above 50 signifies expansion in business activity, while a reading below signals contraction.
The figure represents an improvement in private sector output, but at the weakest growth rate since August.
Meanwhile, input costs continued to rise sharply on the back of the weak pound, but only some local firms reported passing on the burden to customers.
The Lloyds Bank PMI is the leading economic health-check of UK regions. It is based on responses from manufacturers and service providers about the volume of goods and services produced during November compared with a month earlier. The North East findings are based on a range of questions posed to businesses across Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and the Tees Valley.
Leigh Taylor, regional director for the North East at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Growth in the North East private sector lost some ground in November, which led to job losses.
“The region has fallen behind the pace of the general trend we’re seeing across the UK, but it is moving in the right direction. Competitive pricing should help firms to recover some of the ground lost and secure more work in this current environment.”