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					                                             Jobs cut substantially in March despite
The PMI® (Purchasing Managers’ Index®)
Eastern England Report is produced for
The Royal Bank of Scotland by Markit


                                             slower decline in output.
Economics.
The report features original survey data
collected from a representative panel of
companies based in Eastern England           The Eastern England PMI ® report for March
and operating in both manufacturing and                                                                Output
service sectors.                             pointed to a marked reduction in business activity                                                                                  60

The Eastern England survey forms part of     in the region. The rate of contraction eased
a series of regional surveys published by    compared with the month before, but firms still           Rising                                                                    55
The Royal Bank of Scotland and Markit        lowered staffing levels at a considerable pace.
Economics and is derived from the highly                                                                                                                                         50
regarded national PMI surveys produced       Although input prices increased, firms continued
by Markit for the Chartered Institute of     to lower output charges during the month.                                                                                           45
Purchasing and Supply.
                                             Weaker fall in activity
                                                                                                       Falling
Register now at                                                                                                                                                                  40
www.rbs.com/economics                        Business activity in the East of England fell
to receive your choice of monthly PMI        markedly in March, although the pace of decline                                                                                     35
report summary emails. The report            eased for the third month in a row. The reduction in
summaries will be emailed to you on the
second Monday of each month.                 the region’s output was slower than the average for
                                             the UK as a whole. The wider economic downturn
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group is one      remained the principal factor driving output lower.       Order Books
of the world's leading financial services
companies providing a range of retail
                                             Manufacturing firms posted a stronger contraction         60
                                                                                                                                                                              Rising


and corporate banking, financial markets,    of output than services companies.                        55
consumer finance, insurance, and wealth           The contraction in new orders also weakened
management services.                                                                                   50
                                             during March, easing to its smallest since May
The Group operates in Europe, the                                                                      45
Americas, Asia and the Middle East
                                             2008. Respondents indicated that clients were
serving more than 40 million customers       operating with tighter budgets during the current         40                                                                     Falling

and employing more than 170,000 people.      downturn. The decrease in new work amongst                35

For further information please contact:      manufacturers was sharper than at service                 30
Thorsten Fischer                             providers. As new orders fell, increased spare            25
Senior Economist
The Royal Bank of Scotland
                                             capacity was utilised through the completion of
Tel: 0131 626 3954                           outstanding business. Backlogs of work declined
E-mail: thorsten.fischer@rbs.co.uk           substantially despite the pace of reduction easing
                                             for the second month in a row.                            Employment                                                                60

                                             Job shedding remained sharp                               Rising
                                             Employment fell in the East of England at the                                                                                       55


                                             second fastest pace in the series history in
                                                                                                                                                                                 50
                                             March, extending the current period of decline to
Markit Economics
                                             eleven months. Anecdotal evidence suggested               Falling                                                                   45
Henley on Thames
Oxon RG9 1EL, UK
                                             that the reduction was largely in response to
Tel: +44 1491 461000
                                             lower output requirements, with manufacturing                                                                                       40


Fax: +44 1491 461001                         the principal source of redundancies. The fall in                                                                                   35
E-mail: economics@markit.com                 the region’s employment was broadly similar to
                                             the UK economy average.
The RBS Regional PMIs are produced
by Markit Economics, an independent          Output charges continued to fall despite                  Input costs/prices charged
research company that produces highly-       rise in input costs                                       75
regarded surveys of business conditions in
nations around the world.
                                             Input costs rose for the second month in a row in         70
                                                                                                                                                  Input costs

                                             March, and at a faster pace than during February.         65
                                             This was in contrast to the whole UK economy,
                                                                                                       60                                                                     Rising
The Royal Bank of Scotland and Markit        which posted a fall of input prices over the month.
Economics acknowledge the support of
CIPS in the production of this report.       Panellists reported that the relative weakness of         55


                                             sterling had led to an increase in some import            50
                                                                                                                                                        Prices charged
                                             costs.                                                    45
                                                                                                                                                                              Falling
                                                 Output prices fell for the fifth successive month     40
                                             in March as East of England private sector firms                   1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

                                             cut charges in an attempt to stimulate demand.
                                                                                                     The above charts plot the seasonally adjusted indicators of
                                             There were also reports that output prices had          business conditions in Eastern England. Index readings
                                             been cut in response to increased competition for       above 50.0 signal an increase on the previous month while
      14 April 2009                          new business and requests from clients.                 readings below 50.0 signal a decrease.
PMI Eastern England Report                                                                                                                                                              	

    Output / Business Activity
Q. Is the level of output or business activity at your company higher, the same or lower this month than one month ago?

	                               Eastern	England	Companies		                            All	UK           50 = no change on previous month (seasonally adjusted)
                                                                                                        65
                                                                                                                                                          Increasing rate of growth
	                  Higher	      Same	       Lower	        Index	       S.Adj'd	        S.Adj'd	
	                    %	          %	           %	        50=no	chg	      Index	           Ind
                                                                                                        60
2008    Jul         14.4        55.7        29.9           42.3         43.6	              46.5
        Aug         14.1        53.3        32.6           40.8         45.8	              49.0         55
        Sep         16.8        50.5        32.6           42.1         40.1	              44.7
        Oct         15.0        40.0        45.0           35.0         35.7	              42.0         50

        Nov         17.0        44.7        38.3           39.4         38.6	              38.0
                                                                                                        45
        Dec         11.7        42.6        45.7           33.0         36.2	              38.7
2009    Jan         14.6        41.7        43.7           35.4         39.0	              40.6         40     Black line: Eastern England
        Feb         20.6        47.1        32.4           44.1         41.0	              40.1                Grey line: All UK
                                                                                                                                                   Increasing rate of decline
        Mar         22.1        52.9        25.0           48.6         45.8	              44.1         35
                                                                                                             1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

March data signalled a marked reduction in business activity amongst Eastern England companies, extending the current
period of contraction to eleven months. However, the pace of decline eased for the third successive month to its slowest since
August 2008. For the second consecutive month, the decrease in activity seen in the region was smaller than the UK economy
average. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the wider economic downturn was the principal cause of the latest reduction. The
contraction of output amongst manufacturers was steeper than at services companies.


    New Orders / Incoming New Business
Q. Is the level of new orders or incoming new business at your company higher, the same or lower this month than one month ago?

	                              Eastern	England	Companies		                             All	UK           50 = no change on previous month (seasonally adjusted)
                                                                                                        65                                                Increasing rate of growth
	                  Higher	      Same	       Lower	        Index	      S.Adj'd	         S.Adj'd	
	                    %	          %	           %	        50=no	chg	     Index	            Ind
                                                                                                        60
2008    Jul         19.6        41.3        39.1           40.2         40.2	              43.5
                                                                                                        55
        Aug         13.5        46.1        40.4           36.5         41.7	              45.7
        Sep         19.8        44.0        36.3           41.8         41.8	              42.9         50
        Oct         16.8        34.7        48.4           34.2         34.8	              39.3
                                                                                                        45
        Nov          7.6        44.6        47.8           29.9         32.9	              35.8
        Dec         13.5        33.7        52.8           30.3         32.1	              36.4         40
2009    Jan         15.3        37.8        46.9           34.2         35.8	              39.2                Black line: Eastern England
                                                                                                        35
        Feb         20.6        42.3        37.1           41.8         38.4	              40.1                Grey line: All UK
                                                                                                                                                      Increasing rate of decline
        Mar         29.4        39.2        31.4           49.0         46.6	              42.7         30
                                                                                                             1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

The decline in new business in the East of England private sector eased markedly during March to its weakest in ten months.
The eleventh successive reduction in new business to the region was also slower than that of the UK economy as a whole.
However, new orders still fell modestly during the month, with panellists reporting cuts in clients’ budgets as the wider economic
downturn continued. Both the sectors covered by the survey posted lower new business, with the rate of contraction steeper
amongst manufacturers.


    Business Outstanding
Q. Is the level of business outstanding (i.e. work not yet commenced or completed) at your company higher, the same or lower this month than one month ago?

	                              Eastern	England	Companies		                             All	UK           50 = no change on previous month (seasonally adjusted)
                                                                                                        65
                                                                                                                                                       Increasing rate of growth
	                  Higher	      Same	       Lower	        Index	      S.Adj'd	         S.Adj'd	
	                    %	          %	           %	        50=no	chg	     Index	            Ind            60     Black line: Eastern England
                                                                                                               Grey line: All UK
2008    Jul         13.5        59.6        27.0           43.3         40.6	              41.4         55
        Aug          9.4        60.0        30.6           39.4         41.6	              41.1
                                                                                                        50
        Sep         11.4        53.4        35.2           38.1         38.1	              39.2
                                                                                                        45
        Oct         10.8        54.8        34.4           38.2         38.5	              37.6
        Nov          9.5        44.0        46.4           31.5         33.1	              35.4         40
        Dec          3.4        47.1        49.4           27.0         30.1	              35.6         35
2009    Jan          4.1        48.5        47.4           28.4         28.6	              36.7
                                                                                                        30
        Feb         12.9        53.8        33.3           39.8         32.4	              36.3
                                                                                                                                                      Increasing rate of decline
        Mar          9.2        61.2        29.6           39.8         36.9	              38.1         25
                                                                                                             1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

For the eighteenth successive month in March, outstanding business declined amongst East of England private sector firms.
The pace of reduction remained substantial, despite easing for the second consecutive month to its slowest since October
2008. The fall in backlogs was largely due to lower new order levels, which enabled companies to divert spare resources to
complete work-in-hand. Backlogs in the region decreased at a sharper pace than the UK economy average. Manufacturers
posted a faster decline than service sector companies.


All Intellectual Property Rights owned by Markit                                       2                                                                                14 April 2009
	                                                                                                                           PMI Eastern England Report

        Employment
    Q. Is the level of employment at your company higher, the same or lower this month than one month ago?
                                                                                                             50 = no change on previous month (seasonally adjusted)
    	                             Eastern	England	Companies		                           All	UK               65
                                                                                                                                                             Increasing rate of growth
    	                 Higher	      Same	      Lower	        Index	      S.Adj'd	        S.Adj'd	
    	                   %	          %	          %	        50=no	chg	     Index	           Ind
                                                                                                             60
    2008    Jul        10.3        75.3        14.4          47.9         47.0	             45.7                                  Black line: Eastern England
                                                                                                                                  Grey line: All UK
            Aug         9.8        73.9        16.3          46.7         47.9	             46.6             55
            Sep         7.4        76.6        16.0          45.7         46.4	             45.4
                                                                                                             50
            Oct         8.1        64.6        27.3          40.4         43.8	             44.1
            Nov         2.1        72.3        25.5          38.3         38.3	             41.1
                                                                                                             45
            Dec         4.3        67.7        28.0          38.2         38.3	             38.7
    2009    Jan         3.9        69.6        26.5          38.7         39.9	             38.5             40
            Feb         3.0        69.0        28.0          37.5         37.1	             38.3                                                         Increasing rate of decline
            Mar         3.9        69.9        26.2          38.8         37.5	             37.7             35
                                                                                                                  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

    March data pointed to a further substantial decline in employment in the East of England, with the rate of contraction broadly
    similar to the UK economy average. The latest round of redundancies was the second fastest in the history of the series,
    slower only than the record posted in February. Jobs have now been cut in the region in each of the past eleven months.
    Respondents indicated that they had reduced staffing levels in line with decreasing workloads. The fall in employment in the
    manufacturing sector was sharper than that seen in services.


        Input Prices / Costs
    Q. Have average input prices or input costs risen, fallen or remained unchanged this month compared to one month ago?
                                                                                                             50 = no change on previous month (seasonally adjusted)
    	                             Eastern	England	Companies		                           All	UK               75                                       Increasing rate of inflation
    	                 Higher	      Same	      Lower	        Index	      S.Adj'd	        S.Adj'd	                   Black line: Eastern England
    	                   %	          %	          %	        50=no	chg	     Index	           Ind                      Grey line: All UK
                                                                                                             70
    2008    Jul        53.2        45.7         1.1          76.1         73.4	             72.6
                                                                                                             65
            Aug        48.4        48.4         3.3          72.5         73.5	             69.2
            Sep        36.6        62.4         1.1          67.7         66.6	             66.5             60
            Oct        26.5        62.2        11.2          57.7         57.9	             57.1
                                                                                                             55
            Nov        18.3        72.0         9.7          54.3         55.2	             50.9
            Dec         8.7        65.2        26.1          41.3         46.0	             49.2             50

    2009    Jan        20.8        55.4        23.8          48.5         48.8	             50.3             45
            Feb        24.0        58.0        18.0          53.0         50.5	             49.1
                                                                                                                                                           Increasing rate of deflation
            Mar        26.5        52.0        21.6          52.5         52.5	             49.3             40
                                                                                                                  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

    For the second month in a row in March, East of England companies registered increased input costs. Moreover, the rise
    was steeper than that seen in the preceding month. Inflation in the region was in contrast to the UK as a whole, where input
    prices fell. Around 27% of panellists reported increased input prices over the month, which was mainly due to the weakness
    of sterling, and therefore higher import costs. Both manufacturers and service providers posted rising input prices over the
    month, with the rate of inflation slightly faster in the service sector.


        Output Prices
    Q. Are the average prices charged for goods and services by your company higher, the same or lower this month than one month ago?

                                                                                                             50 = no change on previous month (seasonally adjusted)
    	                              Eastern	England	Companies		                          All	UK               65                                               Increasing rate of inflation
    	                  Higher	     Same	      Lower	         Index	     S.Adj'd	         S.Adj'd	
    	                    %	         %	          %	         50=no	chg	    Index	            Ind
                                                                                                             60
    2008    Jul        25.3        72.6         2.1          61.6         59.6	             57.9
                                                                                                                      Black line: Eastern England
            Aug        16.3        78.3         5.4          55.4         57.2	             57.8                      Grey line: All UK
                                                                                                             55
            Sep        20.2        77.7         2.1          59.0         59.5	             56.7
            Oct        16.0        72.0        12.0          52.0         52.5	             53.6
                                                                                                             50
            Nov         8.6        80.6        10.8          48.9         49.4	             50.0
            Dec         7.4        78.7        13.8          46.8         46.7	             46.2
                                                                                                             45
    2009    Jan        19.6        71.6         8.8          55.4         48.4	             45.6
            Feb         6.9        78.2        14.9          46.0         45.6	             45.9                                                           Increasing rate of deflation
            Mar         9.8        72.5        17.6          46.1         45.8	             46.6             40
                                                                                                                  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

    Output prices fell in March at a broadly similar pace to the series record posted in February. Output charges in the East of
    England have now declined for five months in a row, with the latest reduction sharper than the average for the whole of the
    UK. According to respondents, the principal reason for the decrease in output charges was an attempt to stimulate demand.
    There were also reports of increased competition for new business and requests by clients for price reductions. The decline in
    output prices was slightly sharper amongst service providers.


    14 April 2009                                                                                                         All Intellectual Property Rights owned by Markit
PMI Eastern England Report

 Regional Comparisons: Output
The graph below shows the regional PMI Output Indexes for the UK. An average of the latest three                                  Share of UK           	 PMI	Output	Index
                                                                                                                                   GVA, 2006         Last 12  Latest 3     Latest
months is used (see also the table to the right). Steep falls in activity were registered across all                           (National Statistics) months    months      month
twelve UK regions in the first quarter of 2009. Northern Ireland was again the worst performing                  London             (17.4%)        46.9        44.3        43.7
region, followed closely by the West Midlands. Meanwhile, London and the North East posted the                   South East         (15.7%)        45.3        42.6        44.7
weakest declines.                                                                                                North West          (9.9%)        45.7        40.4        45.1
50 = no change on previous month (-month ave.)                                                                  Eastern England     (9.7%)        42.7        41.9        45.8
52
50                                                                                                               Scotland            (8.1%)        41.6        39.0        41.8
48                                                                                                               West Midlands       (7.9%)        40.5        34.9        36.6
46                                                                                                               South West          (7.9%)        45.5        41.5        40.5
44
                                                                                                                 Yorks & H’Side      (7.3%)        44.3        40.9        43.4
42
40                                                                                                               East Midlands       (6.6%)        40.5        38.8        43.9
38                                                                                                               Wales               (3.8%)        42.0        37.5        42.3
36                                                                                                               North East          (3.4%)        43.7        44.0        47.0
34
                                                                                                                 N.Ireland           (2.3%)        37.4        34.0        34.7
32
                                                                                                                 UK	               (100.0%)	       44.2	       41.6	       44.1
                                                     s




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 Regional Comparisons: Employment
The graph below shows the regional PMI Employment Indexes for the UK. An average of the latest                                  Contribution to UK       PMI	Employment	Index
                                                                                                                               Employment, 2006 Last 12        Latest 3    Latest
three months is used (see also the table to the right). All twelve UK regions reported a drop in
                                                                                                                               (National Statistics) months    months      month
staffing levels over the three months to March, with the West Midlands posting the sharpest rate of
                                                                                                                 South East         (14.6%)        45.5        40.6        39.3
job shedding. Scotland and the South East registered the slowest reductions in workforce numbers
                                                                                                                 London             (12.3%)        44.6        39.5        40.0
on average in the first quarter.
                                                                                                                 North West         (10.9%)        44.2        37.6        38.5
50 = no change on previous month (-month ave.)                                                                  Eastern England     (9.6%)        43.5        38.2        37.5
52
                                                                                                                 Scotland            (8.7%)        44.6        41.0        42.1
50
48                                                                                                               South West          (8.6%)        43.8        39.0        38.3
46                                                                                                               West Midlands       (8.6%)        41.3        34.9        35.9
44                                                                                                               Yorks & H’Side      (8.2%)        41.8        36.3        37.1
42                                                                                                               East Midlands       (7.3%)        41.4        36.9        36.9
40                                                                                                               Wales               (4.6%)        41.0        38.5        37.2
38                                                                                                               North East          (3.9%)        42.9        39.7        40.9
36                                                                                                               N.Ireland           (2.7%)        41.0        36.9        37.1
34
                                                                                                                 UK	               (100.0%)	       43.4	       38.2	       37.7
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 PMI Survey Methodology
 PMI surveys                                                                                     Index numbers
 Purchasing Managers’ Indexes (or PMIs) are monthly surveys of carefully                         Index numbers are calculated from the percentages of respondents reporting
 selected companies which provide an advance indication of what is really                        an improvement, no change or decline. These indices vary between 0 and
 happening in the private sector economy by tracking variables such as output,                   100 with readings of exactly 50.0 signalling no change on the previous month.
 new orders, employment and prices across both manufacturing and service                         Readings above 50.0 signal an increase or improvement; readings below
 sectors. The PMI surveys are based on fact, not opinion, and are the first                      50.0 signal a decline or deterioration.
 indicators of economic conditions each month. The data are collected using                            Reasons given by survey respondents for any changes are analysed to
 identical methods in all countries and regions so that accurate comparisons                     provide insight into the causes of movements in the indices and are also used
 may be made.                                                                                    to adjust for expected seasonal variations.
       Questionnaires are completed in the latter half of each month and are                           The indexes are seasonally adjusted to take into consideration expected
 collected and processed by economists at Markit Economics. Respondents                          variations for the time of year, such as summer holiday shutdowns and
 are asked to state whether business conditions for a number of variables have                   national holidays such as Christmas.
 improved, deteriorated or stayed the same compared with the previous month.

 The Royal Bank of Scotland and Markit Economics
 The RBS group is one of the world’s leading financial services companies                        Markit Economics is a specialist compiler of business surveys and economic
 providing a range of retail and corporate banking, financial markets, consumer                  indices, including the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) series, which is now
 finance, insurance, and wealth management services. RBS group operates                          available for 26 countries and key regions including the Eurozone and BRIC.
 in over 50 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East                      The PMIs have become the most closely watched business surveys in the
 serving more than 40 million customers and employing more than 170,000                          world, favoured by central banks, financial markets and business decision
 people. The Group’s brands include RBS, NatWest, Ulster Bank, Coutts,                           makers for their ability to provide up-to-date, accurate and often unique
 Citizens and many other “household name” financial services companies.                          monthly indicators of economic trends.


 DISCLAIMER
 The PMI Eastern England Report is issued exclusively for the general information of clients, contacts and staff of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. The contents are
 not a substitute for specific advice and should not be relied upon as such. Accordingly, whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no
 representation or warranty is made or given in respect of its contents and no responsibility is accepted for the consequences of any reliance placed on it by any person.
 WARNING
 The intellectual property rights to the RBS Regional PMIs provided herein is owned by Markit Group Limited. Any unauthorised use, including but not limited to copying,
 distributing, transmitting or otherwise of any data appearing is not permitted without Markit’s prior consent. Markit shall not have any liability, duty or obligation for or
 relating to the content or information (“data”) contained herein, any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or delays in the data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. In
 no event shall Markit be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages, arising out of the use of the data. Markit, PMI and Purchasing Managers' Index are
 all trademarks owned by The Markit Group.


                                                                                                     4                                                                  14 April 2009

				
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