Business Confidence in Scotland Is on the Up

Business Confidence in Scotland Is on the Up

According to the Bank of Scotland’s latest business report, confidence amongst companies in the country is on the up. Their business barometer peaked at 15%, showing a 19-point rise month on month.

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Five per cent of firms responding to the Bank’s survey indicated they anticipated increased staff hiring over the coming year.


This is good news, since confidence across the UK remained unchanged. Even so, Scotland lags behind other regions in the UK such as London and the English Midlands, where firms were much more optimistic about trends post-Brexit.

This may reflect the results of the EU referendum which took place in June 2016, when voters in Scotland voted to remain by a margin of 52% to 48%.

Nonetheless, the Bank’s announcement is good news following the comments of the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist Gary Gillespie earlier this year. Commenting on Brexit, Mr Gillespie suggested in a report that he anticipated growth would be “sluggish” over the next twelve months whilst doubts remained over the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

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The optimism reflected in the latest Bank of Scotland briefing is good news for all aspects of commerce north of the border, and particularly supply chains within the UK. Industry, in particular the engineering sector in Scotland, which includes oil and gas, transportation, aerospace, defence and marine, depends on coherent delivery to ensure the growth which is now anticipated.

For example, pneumatic conveying systems are an important part of that chain, such as those found online at sites such as

It was significant that the Bank’s report suggested that although overall in the UK confidence in the services sector fell, the manufacturing sector showed signs of optimism. The survey contacted 84 firms in Scotland and 1200 across the UK.

The Bank felt that the responses from local companies reflected the resilience of the business sector in Scotland, although it warned that 2020 would prove to be a difficult year as the UK seeks to complete a transition period with the EU before 31st December this year.

Perhaps significantly, the net balance of companies in Scotland who felt leaving the EU was having a negative effect on their business was down to 8% from 19% in January.

Latest Scottish Government budget figures suggest anticipated growth in 2021 is 1.1%.


Category Business

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