Scotland's companies have reported a higher volume of new business for May.
According to the Bank of Scotland's PMI report, the rate of expansion is at its highest for nine months.
The headline PMI figure of 49.9 indicated a fractional fall in combined manufacturing and services output.
But workforce levels have fallen for the sixth successive month amid what was described as "a further deterioration" of outstanding business levels.
The rise in new business was largely driven by manufacturing, which reported the largest rise for 21 months.
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