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14 July 2014, 05:44
Business activity in Scotland rose at the fastest pace for three months in June, according to new data.
Manufacturers and service firms recorded accelerated growth in output and job creation, the Bank of Scotland's monthly survey found.
The bank's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) collects information from around 600 companies operating in the manufacturing and service sectors.
Chief economist Donald MacRae said the report shows the recovery in the Scottish economy "is now firmly embedded''.
Rates of growth in service sector business activity and goods production were both the fastest since March.
New export orders at manufacturers stabilised after four months in a row of declining international sales, the report found.
Employment in the private sector, meanwhile, rose at the second-fastest rate since the survey began in 1998.
Salary increments led to an increase in costs which businesses covered in part by raising their output prices.
The increase in prices was described as moderate and slower than the rate of cost inflation.
Mr MacRae said: "Growth was evident across both manufacturing and services with business services leading the way. After four months of decline, new export orders stabilised while levels of new business rose across the economy.
"Employment growth was accompanied by rising salaries providing further evidence of increasing business confidence. The recovery in the Scottish economy is now firmly embedded.''
Minister for Local Government and Planning Derek Mackay welcomed the report.
He said: "The recovery in Scotland's economy is consolidating, with this summer's independent growth forecasts all revised up and the pace of growth widely expected to accelerate this year.
"With full fiscal and economic powers of independence, the Scottish Government could do so much more to strengthen our economy and create more jobs.''