Firms still positive

Business confidence slips as reopening delayed

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The hospitality sector is more optimistic (pic: Terry Murden)

Business confidence in the Scottish economy fell most across the UK regions during  July as the easing of restrictions was delayed by three weeks.

Despite the overall slip in confidence, some sectors such as hospitality and transport showed sharply higher levels of optimism as the economy reopened and the sun shone, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds / Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking.  

There was a lower confidence in companies’ own business prospects month-on-month, down nine points at 33%.

A net balance of 13% of businesses in Scotland expect to increase staff levels over the next year, down five points on last month. 

The barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. 

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Businesses in the North East of England (40%), East Midlands (38%) and North West (38%) were the most optimistic overall. 

Scotland (down 14 points to 28%), East of England (down 11 points to 25%) and Wales (down nine points to 12%) reported the biggest falls in confidence but all retained an overall positive reading. 

The percentage of UK firms planning to create jobs in the next 12 months rose one point to 18% in July, the highest reading since November 2018 and the sixth consecutive month that employment expectations have risen. 

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