By Jonathan Davies

The Scottish economy is returning to growth after a slowdown in the first quarter, according to the Bank of Scotland.

The Bank's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing and services industries rose to 50.7 during April, following March's 49.4.

Any figure above 50 indicates growth. Despite only showing marginal growth in April, it was the Bank of Scotland's highest score this year.

Overall the survey found employment and new businesses to be on the rise in April. Services sector companies saw marginal growth in business activity, but manufacturers continued to feel the effects of low growth in the eurozone with business activity contracting.

Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae said: "The slowdown of the first three months of this year is slowly being reversed with both employment and new business increasing in April, suggesting a return to a more normal growth rate in the second quarter."