“More than half” of Scottish businesses answering a quarterly survey are optimistic about their growth prospects in the next 12 months, despite Brexit uncertainty.
The findings from accountants Grant Thornton in its latest International Business Report, which surveyed 53 Scottish firms and more than 2,500 across 36 global economies, suggests confidence levels in Scotland are “among the highest in Europe and the G7”.
Grant Thornton notes that “more than half of Scottish business leaders questioned are confident about the country’s economy over the next 12 months” against its wider global survey which shows confidence levels across the EU averaged 31% and across the G7 (United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and UK) averaged 29%.
Debbie Mayor, head of international at Grant Thornton in Scotland, said the Scottish figures provide “some reassurance during a time of great uncertainty”.
“Businesses in Scotland remain resilient and focused on driving forward their growth ambitions. But, despite that positive news, there are clearly some warning signs.
“Relatively few companies plan to increase employment and with export figures are falling short of what we might expect, it’s clear we need to address some of the critical issues facing the country’s economy in the coming months.”
Kenneth Gibson added:
“With the uncertainty of Brexit looming large, it is important that business knows where it stands, if companies are to take long-term investment decisions. The UK Government needs to get its act together and do all it can to minimise the disruption to the economy Brexit will bring, with all that means for investment, exports, jobs, wages and, ultimately, living standards and prosperity.”