A new business survey has suggested that the Scottish economy could be slowing down – and could continue to do so throughout the year.
These are the findings of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce’s (SCC) most recent quarterly report.
The SCC study reported that business activity weakened in the second quarter of 2012 and that there was a lack of optimism for the third quarter. It additionally found that positive sentiments felt by firms at the start of the year were waning.
Such pessimism is being felt across all sectors, with the SCC’s Garry Clark saying:
“With few exceptions, demand and both consumer and business confidence remain weak and the outlook for the rest of the year is one of little or no growth.”
The major reasons given for the findings included the continuing issues with Eurozone debt and the global economy.
Other reasons given were the UK austerity measures and a lack of consumer confidence.
There was recognition that business infrastructure had been improved but these strides did not go far enough, according to Clark.
The SCC head of policy went on to say:
“It is clear that the additional stimulus of infrastructure spending must be backed up with action to ensure that Scottish-based businesses are able to reap the maximum possible benefit from these new contracts.”
In response to the report, Holyrood said that independent research by Ernst and Young showed that Scotland was leading the UK in regards to job-creating investments, and businesses still have ready access to commercial finance in Scotland.