- London outperforms in terms of both output and employment growth
- Demand coming under pressure as five regions report a fall in new orders
- Business confidence wanes in most areas amid inflation concerns
The PMI Business Activity Index is the first fact-based indicator of regional economic health published each month, tracking the monthly change in the output of goods and services across the private sector. A reading above 50 signals growth and, the higher this is, the faster the expansion signalled.
Regional performances varied markedly in terms of business activity in June. London led the growth rankings by some margin with a steep and accelerated rise in output (index at 60.3). However, three out of the 12 monitored areas recorded lower business activity, namely the East Midlands (49.4), East of England (47.9) and Northern Ireland* (42.9), the last of which saw output fall for the second month running and at the quickest rate since February 2021.
* PMI survey coverage in Northern Ireland includes construction and retail, as well as manufacturing and services.
Sebastian Burnside, NatWest Chief Economist, commented:
“There are signs that demand is beginning to falter across parts of the UK, under pressure from historically high inflation and strained by the uncertain economic outlook. Five out of the 12 regions monitored by the PMI data saw inflows of new business fall in June, the most since the lockdowns in early 2021, whilst the remaining areas all saw growth of new business slow.
“Weaker demand has started to weigh on the actual output of goods and services in some areas. However, other regions showed a greater degree of resilience to the growing headwinds in June, and none more so than London, which recorded the strongest growth in business activity throughout the second quarter.
“The capital once again outperformed on the employment front, which is in fact an area of positivity for most regions, with only the North East seeing workforce numbers decline during June.
“Concerns over sustained high inflation served to dampen business confidence across most UK regions in June. Firms everywhere reported further hikes in prices charged for goods and services as they looked to offset rising costs, albeit with rates of increase ticking down in most cases from recent record highs.”
The regional reports in full:
- UK National (PDF, 250KB)
- North East (PDF, 373KB)
- North West (PDF, 365KB)
- Yorkshire and the Humber (PDF, 391KB)
- East Midlands (PDF, 411KB)
- West Midlands (PDF, 380KB)
- East of England (PDF, 387KB)
- London (PDF, 353KB)
- South East (PDF, 399KB)
- South West (PDF, 386KB)
- Scotland (PDF, 368KB)
- Wales (PDF, 372KB)