Market report

Firms raising prices, but more upbeat


Stephen Leckie

A survey reveals that 73% of Scottish firms, a slight dip on previous findings, will be raising prices across the April to June period of this year as a result of their own cost pressures.

According to the latest Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Fraser of Allander Institute poll a net balance of 12% of businesses reported a fall in cashflow in the first quarter of the year.

Stephen Leckie, pictured, president of the Scottish chambers, said: “There is a large in-tray of issues for the new first minister and his cabinet to work with businesses to address, to help put the Scottish economy back onto a path towards unlocking growth and investment.”

However, he said the start of 2023 has seen an improvement in the prospects of some sectors of the Scottish economy, in line with recent economic data that has been more positive than previously expected.

“The overall feeling in the economy seems to be that things are not as bad as we feared a few months ago,” he said. ” But that the bar was pretty low. All of this is shown in the survey results today, with firms a bit more positive about the outlook for business, but much more negative about investment intentions.”

4.30pm: London higher

The FTSE 100 closed 78.62 points higher at 7,741.56.

7am: Shell

Shell expects to increase the amount of gas it produces in the first quarter of the year and will deliver more liquid gas as more flows from two sites in Australia,.

is forecasting upstream adjusted earnings of between $2.8bn to $3.1bn compared to $2.9bn in quarter four.

The oil major said profit of joint ventures and associates and exploration well write offs in the division are expected to be in line with the historical averages.

However, it said a number of one-off tax charges would hit corporate earnings with an adjusted loss forecast between $0.9bn to $1.2bn widened from $0.6bn in the fourth quarter.

7am: Robert Walters

Recruitment agency Robert Walters has reported a “slower start” to the current year as global economic uncertainty impacted company hiring.

The firm said total net fee income increased by 4% to £102.4 million over the first three months of 2023, compared with the same period last year.

Global markets

Wall Street closed on a mixed note as fresh data showed a slowdown in service sector growth and private sector hiring.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.24%, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.25%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq suffering its third consecutive loss, off 1.07%.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand made an unexpected move by announcing a 50-basis point interest rate hike, double the amount analysts had been predicting.

The move contrasted sharply with the announcement made by its Australian counterpart on Tuesday, when it decided to pause interest rate rises.

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