Confidence falls for second consecutive month
Bank of Scotland’s Business Barometer for August 2019 shows:
- Overall confidence for firms in Scotland fell nine points in the past month to minus nine per cent
- Firms’ confidence in their own business prospects was zero per cent, compared with six per cent in July
Business confidence in Scotland fell nine points during August to minus nine per cent, according to the latest Business Barometer from Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking.
Companies in Scotland reported lower confidence in their business prospects, which fell six points to a net balance of zero. When combined with their view on the economy, this gives an overall confidence of minus nine per cent.
Businesses’ hiring intentions showed that a net balance of 15 per cent of businesses in Scotland expect to reduce staffing levels during the next year, up 12 points on last month.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.
Fraser Sime, regional director for Scotland at Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking, said: “It’s evident that UK and international uncertainties are effecting the confidence levels of businesses in Scotland.
“We remain committed to helping businesses access the opportunities that continue to present themselves across all sectors.
“We’ve pledged to lend up to £1.6 billion to Scottish firms during 2019. We will be by their side as they work towards a more confident future.”
Across Scotland, a net balance of 38 per cent of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, up 13 points on a month ago.
Businesses in the West Midlands showed the most confidence, at 15 per cent, ahead of the South West (11 per cent) and London (seven per cent).
In August, business confidence in the construction sector rose by six points to 12 per cent. Meanwhile, overall confidence fell by 16 points to three per cent in the manufacturing sector, and by 11 points to six per cent in retail, the lowest levels seen for those sectors this year.
Confidence was also down 15 points to minus three per cent in the services sector, bringing it near to the February low of minus four per cent.
Paul Gordon, Managing Director for SME and Mid Corporates, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “We continue to see variations month to month in overall business confidence, and across sectors and regions. Although the outlook appears less positive this month, there were improvements seen in the construction sector, signalling some resilience in the UK economy. What is highly likely is that we will continue to see further fluctuation in the months ahead.”
Hann-Ju Ho, Senior Economist, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “We have seen a dip in overall business confidence this month, with firms appearing less positive about their own trading prospects and the broader economy, and remaining low against the historic average.
“While ongoing economic uncertainty is likely a key driver, it’s worth noting that companies’ assessment of the expected impact on their business of the UK leaving the EU has remained broadly unchanged this year.”
- Perthshire care home opening doors to job seekers this weekend
- Carbon back Open winner's foundation
- New lease of life for Perth nightclub
- SCC Comments on proposed Brexit Agreement
- Businesses call for Brexit outcome that delivers "wall of cash" economic upside
- Peebles Hydro Turns Water Into Gin
- Business finalists selected for Star billing
- Circular Tayside Manager joins Chamber teams
- Balhousie Care Group’s staff shine as they are shortlisted for four Scottish Care Awards
- Barclays launches Brexit clinics for farmers and manufacturing clients as it announces fresh wave of support for business
- Business Star Awards 2019
- Crieff Hydro Charity Event to raise funds for My Name'5 Doddie Foundation
- Enchanted Forest reaches for the stars in this year's show
- Lindsays agrees four more years of support with scottishathletics
- Perfect Conditions at Pitlochry Golf Club for Chamber Golf Day
- SCC Chief hails return of two-year post study work visa as “right for Scotland”
- Travelknowhow Scotland are offering a series of FREE 30-minute, business-focused webinars.
- Balhousie Luncarty’s ‘high fives’ as staff lauded for best practice
- Online Counselling Skills Course Launched
- Confidence falls for second consecutive month
- Green Network for Business
- ACS Flight Training appoints Bose Aviation as its official headset supplier
- On their bike for charities
- GS Group acquisition is "a good fit"