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Orders and staffing take hit

Scottish industrial confidence on wane as global trade dips

scottish industryOptimism among Scottish industrial companies has slumped as a result of weakening global trade.

New figures show orders, output and payroll numbers all falling following the slowdown in China, hardship in the eurozone and Russia and the lower oil price.

The decline in confidence has been sudden with order intake in both the export and domestic markets dipping in the last quarter from the strong positive figures in the previous three months.

Similarly staffing levels which have been growing for a number of years have declined in the last quarter as has the amount of overtime being worked.

Bryan Buchan, Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, which compiled the figures, said: “We are experiencing an immediate and unfortunate effect in demand for those companies engaged in the very diverse supply chain for oil and gas. This has had a direct effect by reducing staffing levels, cutting overtime and impacting adversely on overall optimism throughout the industry.”

Mr Buchan added: “It is to be hoped that the effects of the lower Consumer Price Index created by lower fuel and food prices together will lower borrowing costs will provide a stimulus to the economy which will ultimately feed through to our industry.”

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