Employment and business activity on the rise in Yorkshire

Businesses activity and employment in Yorkshire & Humber increased at a faster rate than the UK average during December, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey.

Employment growth jumped to a 14-month high, with December seeing job creation in Yorkshire higher than the UK average for the third month running.

The region’s PMI reading increased to 57.7 in December, up from 54.0 in November, signalling a sharp and accelerated expansion in business output. A reading greater than 50 signifies growth in business activity, while a reading below 50 signifies contraction.

The Lloyds Bank Regional PMI is the leading economic health-check of UK regions. It’s based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the amount of goods and services produced during December compared with a month earlier.

Yorkshire firms said that greater consumer confidence and stronger international demand during December led to an increase in new orders, which in turn boosted activity.

December also saw the sharpest rise of input costs – which include raw materials and salaries – for Yorkshire firms since April 2011. Often businesses passed on this increasing cost burden to customers in the form of raised prices.

Leigh Taylor, regional director for SME banking at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The Yorkshire & Humber economy ended 2016 on a high, with business activity picking up speed and order books growing.

“The boost in job creation during December also demonstrated Yorkshire firms’ resilience during another month of increased input costs. Employment growth is now at its highest level since October 2015, which is a major win considering that employment was in a state of decline from March to August last year.”

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