Firms in Yorkshire & the Humber created jobs at a faster pace than anywhere else in the UK during October, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional PMI report.
Yorkshire firms took on additional staff at the quickest rate of all monitored regions for the fourth time in six months, as firms built capacity to satisfy growing demand for their goods and services.
The Yorkshire & Humber PMI rose to 57.0 in October, up from September’s reading of 55.9 and showing a strong increase in business activity. A reading above 50 shows growth in the total value of goods and services produced, whereas a reading below indicates decline.
Yorkshire firms were the most confident out of all UK regions towards the year ahead, with optimism growing from September due to new export opportunities, new products and capacity expansions.
Meanwhile, firms experienced another rise in input costs, which include utilities, salaries, rents and other overheads. This was linked to the weak pound, rising fuel prices and shortages of raw materials.
Businesses passed this increase in input costs on to customers in the form of higher selling prices, which rose at the fastest rate in six months.
The Lloyds Bank Regional PMI, or Purchasing Managers’ Index, is the leading economic health-check of the UK regions. It’s based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the amount of goods and services produced during October compared with a month earlier.
Leigh Taylor, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Yorkshire & the Humber remained one of the UK’s brightest spots for economic performance in October. The region experienced one of the fastest rises in employment over the past two-and-a-half years, as local businesses responded to rising backlogs of work and higher demand.
“However, the region’s businesses were also the hardest hit by rising costs, which resulted in another sharp increase in prices charged to customers. They will be watching the upcoming Autumn Statement closely for announcements on initiatives that may help to ease their cost burdens.”