Scottish business confidence dips in April yet growth prospects persist

Scottish business confidence dips in April yet growth prospects persist

Scotland’s business confidence has dipped slightly in April, with the latest Business Barometer from the Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking showing a seven-point drop to 31%.

The decline is attributed to companies in the region reporting a nine-point decrease in their confidence in their own business prospects, falling to 32%. This figure, combined with a one-point drop in optimism in the economy to 34%, results in the 31% headline confidence reading.

Over the next six months, Scottish businesses have identified key growth areas such as investing in their team (55%), entering new markets (35%), and focusing on sustainability (32%).

The Business Barometer, a monthly survey of 1,200 businesses, offers insight into economic trends across the UK.

Expectations for staff level increases among businesses in the region sit at a net balance of 32%, a one-point decline compared to the previous month. Despite this, UK business confidence saw a one-point rise to 33% in April, with positive readings reported in every nation and region.

Chris Lawrie, area director for Scotland at Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking, said: “Despite a small dip in overall business confidence, firms in Scotland are optimistic and many are planning on investing in their teams as they focus on growth in the coming months.

“And with three bank holidays ahead, the country’s world-famous hospitality and leisure sector will be hoping for a busy trading period as consumers make the most of the extra time off.

“Firms will need to closely manage their working capital to ensure they are ready for these peaks in demand. Doing so will ensure they remain resilient and can take advantage of opportunities that come their way.”

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