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[ 20-01-2009 ]

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce today released its Business Survey results for the fourth quarter of 2008. The survey, conducted in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, points to a very difficult year ahead for Scottish businesses unless issues over the availability of credit are addressed quickly.

Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The results of our latest survey underline the deteriorating state of the Scottish economy across all sectors and highlight the challenges we face in the year ahead.  Trading conditions worsened significantly towards the end of 2008 and it is critical that credit, on reasonable terms, is available for Scottish businesses.  Without such credit, the outlook for 2009 looks very bleak indeed.

“The re-establishment of lines of credit must be the first priority of both government and the banking sector and this week’s announcement of new measures to insure the banks against losses from toxic debt means that there should be no more excuses for a failure to lend.

“Once the issue of credit is resolved, attention must turn to ensuring that Scottish businesses are operating in a supportive business environment geared towards maximising competitiveness and success as we emerge from the current recession.  It is vital that Scotland maintains a strong skills base and that government intervention is directed towards support for our key industries.

“The current economic downturn has demonstrated the value of a balanced economy and the need to ensure that our service sector is complimented by a dynamic, efficient and forward looking manufacturing base.  Fiscal policy must be applied in order to play to our economic strengths, boost competitiveness and ensure that Scottish businesses are ready and able to take full advantage of the bountiful economic opportunities that will accompany the recovery when it comes.”

Cliff Lockyer of the Fraser of Allander Institute said:

“The results for the fourth quarter 2008 are the most depressed results recorded since the survey commenced in 1984. This is the first time that negative trends have been recorded for the key indicators in all sectors.”
Download the full Scottish Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Business Survey for Q4 2008.

download: QBS_Quarter_4_2008.doc