Scottish business confidence plummets to lowest in UK

Scottish companies feel less confident than those in other nations, according to a new survey.

Business: Confidence falls to -41%. Pixabay
Business: Confidence falls to -41%.

Confidence in Scottish business has fallen to -41% in June – the lowest of all the UK nations.

According to the latest Business Barometer from the Bank of Scotland, which surveyed 1,200 businesses, companies in Scotland felt less confident than other nations.

When asked about the impact of Covid-19, more than one third of businesses said they expected to be operating at more than 50% capacity by the end of June.

However, one fifth said they do not expect to be open at all by then, while 21% said they thought it would take around three months to be operating at pre-lockdown levels.

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Fraser Sime, regional director for Scotland at Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking, said: “Businesses are currently facing challenging times, but as lockdown restrictions begin to ease, it’s encouraging to see that more than a third of businesses are hoping to be back up and running by the end of June.

“We remain by the side of businesses as they navigate this uncertain period and will continue to support them as we emerge from lockdown and look towards a more positive future.”

Despite support, the majority of businesses have seen a fall in demand during June – just 5% reported an increase in demand.

Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “While the results suggest the economy may be starting to see some improvement, trading conditions remain difficult for most firms as the majority are still experiencing disruption to supply chains.

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“Hopefully the recent Government announcement of further relaxation of restrictions and the slight easing of social distancing measures will enable more businesses to reach their capacity and resume their usual activities, which we would expect to be reflected in further improvements to optimism next month.”

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