North East economy records eight month of decline, survey suggests

North East business activity has hit an eighth successive month of decline and is the weakest region in the UK, according to an influential survey.
The NatWest North East PMI Business Activity Index, which measures month-on-month change in the output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors, rose from 44.5 in December to 47.3 in January, but remained below the 50.0 that signals economic growth.
New work placed with North East private sector firms decreased again in January, with companies saying the general economic climate was to blame. Private sector firms across the North East reduced staffing levels in January, a seventh consecutive month …