SCOTTISH BUSINESS CONFIDENCE DIPS

Business Confidence in Scotland has fallen this quarter, according to the LATEST ICAEW/GRANT THORNTON UK BUSINESS CONFIDENCE MONITOR.

Scottish businesses recorded a confidence score of +7.5 for Q4, down 5.4 points from last quarter’s score of +12.9. Although confidence levels in Scotland have recovered from the negative score seen in Q2, and remain in positive territory, they are below the level recorded in Q4 2014 and are, once again, below the UK average.

Growth in a range of key financial performance indicators has continued to decline in recent quarters. Sales volumes increased by 3.6% year on year in Q4 2015, down from the 4.9% rise in the same period a year earlier.

Similarly, profit growth has slowed from 4.9% in Q4 2014, to 2.8% in the latest quarter. The slowdown appears to be driven by both domestic and overseas sales, with growth weaker in both markets compared to a year ago.

A further moderation in financial performance is expected in the coming quarters.

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