Business confidence in Scotland is recovering, new research shows
Business confidence in Scotland rebounded last month to the highest level in more than a year, new research has revealed.
The Accenture/S&P Global UK Business Outlook headline rebounded to 35% in February, up from 14% in October.
The positive net balance means that more manufacturing and service companies expect activity to pick up over the next 12 months than not.
Stuart Chalmers, Accenture’s co-chief executive officer in Scotland, said it was “encouraging that Scottish companies are beginning to feel more confident after what has been a tremendously challenging period”.
The research shows that rising wholesale costs and the knock-on effect on the prices of goods and services remain major concerns, but this optimism shows the resilience of Scottish businesses
“The research shows that rising wholesale costs and the knock-on effect on the prices of goods and services remain a major concern, but this optimism shows the resilience of Scottish businesses,” he said.
“While companies are understandably still cautious, it’s also important to take advantage of this increased confidence and look at the skills of their people and their business investments in both the medium and long term.”
According to the index, Scottish companies were more confident than those in the eurozone, which had a positive rating of 23%, but below the UK average of 43%.
Researchers who compiled the monthly numbers said the increased confidence is reflected in a more positive earnings outlook, which rose to 21% last month from minus 4% in June last year.
And fewer companies said they expect both utility costs and selling prices to increase, but they remain a concern.
The net balance of companies expecting producer prices to rise was 32%, up from 47% in the same month last year and 40% in October.
But bad news for job seekers north of the border: Despite improving business activity and earnings forecasts, the number of companies forecasting an increase in jobs was less encouraging.
A net balance of just 9% of Scottish businesses expect their hiring activity to pick up, up slightly but still well below the UK average of 26%.
https://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/business-confidence-rebounds-in-scotland-new-research-finds-b1066696.html Business confidence in Scotland is recovering, new research shows