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9 November 2015, 06:00
Scotland's economy has returned to modest growth after a summer slowdown, according to a new report.
The latest Bank of Scotland monthly purchasing managers index (PMI) found activity in the private sector expanded and volumes of new business stabilised in October after a dip the previous month.
The number of employees at private-sector companies in Scotland also rose for the third month in a row, although the job creation rate eased.
Growth was mainly driven by the service sector, with little change in the level of manufacturing production.
Workforce numbers at manufacturing companies also fell for the first time in four months, although the rate of decrease was marginal.
"Survey participants indicated that the drop in headcounts reflected efforts to reduce costs,'' the report said.
It also found a drop in new orders placed at Scottish manufacturers with lower inflows of new business from abroad, partially attributed to unfavourable exchange rates.
The bank's headline figure for private-sector activity, which measures month-by-month changes in output in both manufacturing and services, rose to 50.9 in October from 49.0 in September.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "October's PMI was 50.9 showing a welcome recovery from September's 49.0.
"Output increased modestly in services and marginally in manufacturing.
"These results confirm the summer slowdown in the Scottish economy has been arrested, giving slow growth rather than no growth going into the third quarter of the year.''