THE recession showed early signs of abating during April, according to a survey today.
The Purchase Manager’s Index compiled for the Royal Bank of Scotland by Markit Economics, suggested that the Yorkshire economy was shrinking less rapidly last month.
RBS economist Robert Blotevogel said: “Underlying business conditions have improved markedly since the end of last year.
“Understandably, however, companies remained cautious and production capacity was still in excess of current levels of demand. This, unfortunately, meant further job losses.”
Among its findings, the survey showed that private sector output and new business orders continued to contract during April.
Some respondents said underlying demand remained subdued and markets were still highly competitive. April marked the 13th successive month in which new orders have fallen.
Backlogs of work fell for the 14th month running, but the rate of decline slowed for the first time in more than a year.
Falling workloads led to further job losses, although companies reported reduced costs and energy prices.
The survey showed that most reductions in cost were passed on to customers as firms tried to defend market share in the face of fierce competition.