YORKSHIRE firms enjoyed an increase in new orders during March, as demand for their goods and services grew at the fastest pace since November 2013, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional PMI.
To meet the growth in demand, businesses took on staff at a faster rate than the UK average, marking the seventh consecutive month of employment growth in the region, the survey said.
Yorkshire’s business activity PMI registered at 57.2, up from 55.3 in February. A reading above 50 signals growth in business activity. The pace of increase in activity was the third-fastest experienced in the country.
The East of England saw the fastest increase in business activity, with its PMI registering at 58.0.
Companies continued to pass on this rise in costs to customers, with the prices charged for goods and services increasing for the fourteenth consecutive month and at the fastest pace in almost nine years.
Leigh Taylor, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Yorkshire was one of the best performing regions during March, with increases in new business wins, output and employment showing the current strength of the region’s economy.
“Easing cost inflation is reassuring to see; however, cost pressures remain a large burden for firms, which are increasing prices at the fastest rate since 2008. Businesses need to ensure inflationary pressures don’t drive them to price-out customers and lose business.”