NatWest UK regional PMI report for Nov 2023

Nine out of 12 regions report improved trends in activity in November, with London leading the pack.

Key findings

  • London and West Midlands the only regions to see growth in output
  • Employment falls in just over half of 12 monitored nations and regions
  • The capital leads broad-based rises in input and output prices


Growth of the UK economy in November was centred on London, according to the latest NatWest Regional PMI® survey. Inflationary pressures were also strongest in the capital, with firms there recording the steepest rises in both input costs and average prices charged for goods and services. Employment meanwhile fell in most areas. 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 further above the 50 level the faster the expansion signalled. London continued to outperform the rest of the UK regions in November, recording a sharp and accelerated rise in business activity (index at 56.5). The only other area to see growth was the West Midlands (50.6). The North East (44.9) once again recorded the steepest fall in output. However, like in most places, the rate of contraction eased from the month before.


Sebastian Burnside, NatWest Chief Economist, commented:

"Although output across the UK as whole is broadly steady, our PMI results reveal some real divergences in economic performance across the nations and regions. "Firms in London are thriving, with business activity in the capital showing robust growth as we head towards the end of the year. In most other places, output levels are suffering as a consequence of downward pressure on demand from high interest rates and general customer uncertainty. However, we can take some encouragement from the fact that rates of contraction more often than not slowed in November. "The labour market has undoubtedly cooled amid signs of slack in the economy, though the picture is less clear cut once we start digging deeper into regional trends. In fact, there are still pockets of job creation as businesses demonstrate a resilience to the current economic backdrop. "It's a mixed picture on the inflation front, too, with firms in half of the 12 regions and nations recording faster increases in average output prices and the remainder seeing either no change or a decline in the rate of inflation. Price pressures remain strongest across services due in large part to the influence of rising wages.”


Please see the regional reports in full:


UK National (PDF, 281KB)

North East (PDF, 374KB)

North West (PDF, 423KB)

Yorkshire and the Humber (PDF, 413KB)

East Midlands (PDF, 404KB)

West Midlands (PDF, 380KB)

East of England (PDF, 413KB)

London (PDF, 410KB)

South East (PDF, 392KB)

South West (PDF, 386KB)

Scotland (PDF, 362KB)

Wales (PDF, 381KB)


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