Seconds after hearing from the SNP conference, of confidence in the Scottish economy, those guardians of the status quo (get it?) were talking Scotland down, down, deeper and down as they found what they wanted you to hear in the Royal Bank of Scotland PMI for September, released today:
Off they went with:
‘Manufacturing firms in Scotland suffered a sharp drop in output last month, and a steeper decline in new orders, according to new figures.’
Here’s the phrase they extracted that from:
‘Sectors diverged, as a marginal expansion in the service sector was undermined by a sharp fall in manufacturing output.’
Here’s how the actual report opened:
‘According to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland PMI®, business activity was unchanged in September, following three months of growth.’
They didn’t mention that. Remember a three-month trend is bit short for statisticians but a one-month trend is not a trend at all.
Reporting Scotland Down then went on to say that output was at a ‘standstill’ in September with ‘weak growth across service sector firms.’
There is no mention of ‘standstill’ , ‘unchanged’ was used and ‘weak’ is used but not for service sector.