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Business confidence among Scottish firms holds steady in August

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

BUSINESS confidence among firms in Scotland has remained steady for a second month in a row, a survey suggests.

Economic optimism stood at 9% in August, an increase of seven points on the previous month, according to the Bank of Scotland’s Business Barometer.

Companies reported lower confidence in their own business prospects, however, which fell six points to 25%.

The bank said a net balance of 6% of businesses in Scotland expect to hire more staff during the next year, down seven points on July.

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 UK businesses – 90 in Scotland – each month.

Fraser Sime, Bank of Scotland’s regional director for Scotland, said: “To see overall confidence holding firm demonstrates the continued resilience of Scottish businesses during uncertain times.

“In an evolving economic and political environment, firms should continue to seek trusted advice and optimise working capital.

“This will ensure they are well positioned to deal with potential challenges and capitalise on opportunities in order to maximise their full growth potential and play a part in helping Scotland prosper.”

Across the UK, firms in the manufacturing sector remained most confident, but confidence of construction businesses fell sharply.

In Scotland, a net balance of 19% of businesses said they felt Brexit was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, up one point on a month ago.