South West sees improved conditions

Strengthening demand conditions and improved client confidence has spurred new business growth across the South West, according to the NatWest PMI.

As a result, there was a further uptick in output during April, with firms signalling upbeat forecasts for the medium-term. Cost pressures picked up to a 14-month high, but competitive pressures curbed charge inflation.

Increased new order intakes, demand resilience and more favourable economic conditions underpinned the latest rise in output, anecdotal evidence showed.