The speed of decline in the UK manufacturing sector increased to its fastest pace in almost seven-and-a-half years last month, according to a closely-watched IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) survey.

Over the month, the sector's PMI score was 47.5 - anything below 50 is a contraction - which was down on November's 48.9 score - meaning the reading for the last eight months has seen the sector in decline, the survey added.

Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: "The downturn is still being hardest felt at companies reliant on investment and business-to-business spending.

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"The steepest reduction in output was at investment goods producers, as continued uncertainty meant new orders and new export business suffered the steepest contractions in over a decade.

"On this basis, it looks like UK manufacturing and the broader economy may both start the new decade as they began the last, too reliant on consumer spending and still waiting for a sustained improvement in investment levels."

Aldi has announced plans to open a further six stores in Scotland this year as it continues its expansion across the UK.

The firm said two of the new stores will be in Glasgow, on Crown Street in the Gorbals and Gallowgate in Parkhead, with one opening on Commercial Street in Edinburgh.

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The others will be based on Rigg Street in Stewarton, Houstoun Road in Livingston, and Gateside Commercial Park in Haddington.

The discount supermarket's new £25 million storage and chill facility in Bathgate is expected to be fully operational by the end of April.

The new facility and stores will create an estimated 200 jobs - taking the total number of staff employed by the retailer in Scotland to 2,800 by the end of 2020.

Richard Holloway, Aldi's regional managing director for Scotland, said: "This is an exciting time for Aldi as we look ahead to 2020 and plan for the next 25 years in Scotland.

"We're proud to have reached our ambition to stock over 450 Scottish products significantly ahead of our target of the end of 2020, and we will continue to work in partnership with our local suppliers to increase this to over 500 locally-sourced products in the next two years."

Videogame developer Team17 Group has acquired rival Yippee Entertainment for £1.4 million, the company has announced.

The Yorkshire-based company behind the popular Worms series added the deal would allow Team17 to increase studio capacity and gain access to a new talent pool in the North West of England.

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Yippee, which is based in MediaCityUK in Salford and run by industry veteran Mike Delves, will now work with Team17 on new games and projects as part of the deal.

It added the £1.4 million takeover will be made up of £922,407 in cash and shares in Team17 worth £433,200, with a three-year lock-in period, meaning the shares cannot be sold until 2023.

Debbie Bestwick, chief executive officer of Team17, said: "MediaCityUK is a wonderful location for our second UK studio and the acquisition of Yippee allows us to accelerate our recruitment plans in the North West."

At its last set of results, Team17 saw pre-tax profits jump to £10.4 million for the six months to June, from just £31,000 over the same period last year.