Scotland's economic growth is continuing to pick up, according to a survey of purchasing managers, albeit at a modest pace, driven by domestic demand rather than the hoped-for export recovery.
The Bank of Scotland PMI report suggested the highest level of business activity for seven months. It also indicated that output and new work picked up for businesses last month.
The economy of Scotland is closely linked with the rest of the United Kingdom and the wider European Economic Area. Scotland has the second largest GVA per capita of countries in the United Kingdom after England, though it is still lower than the average of the United Kingdom as a whole.
The Bank of Scotland's purchasing managers' index, a composite indicator of economic health, hit a seven-month high of 52.3 in January, where a reading above 50 indicates expansion.
This was up from 51.2 in the previous month and was slightly ahead of the UK-wide reading of 52 points.
The report said improved business conditions and extra pressure on operating capacity led firms to create more jobs in January.
Firms continued to add to their payroll numbers during January, raising employment levels for the seventh time in the past eight months. However, the report said the overall rate of net job creation was still modest and slower than the UK average.
This result suggests the Scottish economy not only started the year in growth mode but has maintained moderate growth throughout January 2013.
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