South West sees strong rise in business activity

The South West saw its strongest rise in business activity in nine months in January as companies saw rising demand and grew in confidence, a key economic survey has shown.
The latest NatWest South West PMI Business Activity Index also showed businesses felt inflationary pressures were easing – but that costs remain high by historic standards.
The PMI index is a seasonally adjusted index that measures the month-on-month change in the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors. Any figure above 50 represents growth.
The index for the South West lifted from 51.3 in December to 52.0 in January. That was the best figure since last April, and NatWest says firms polled were “often linking the upturn to improved demand conditions and higher sales”
Respondents also reported a second month of sales increases, suggesting improved marketing and new client wins had supported the latest upturn.
Optimism about …