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[ 12-07-2012 ]

Scottish Chambers of Commerce have today (Thursday) released their Business Survey results for the second quarter of 2012.  The survey, conducted in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, reports a weakening in activity in the Scottish economy in the second quarter of 2012, a more cautious outlook for the third quarter and more concerns as to any signs of real recovery in 2012.  
Garry Clark, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: 
“Our latest survey suggests that many Scottish businesses have had a weaker second quarter and are more cautious as to the remainder of 2012.  The optimism evident at the beginning of 2012 is less evident now, and the signs, both internationally and at home, are of a slowdown and return to negative growth. 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 manufacturing sector continues to perform well though even here outcomes remained lower than expectations and optimism has fallen back considerably.  Exports remain the bright spot though some international trade may be vulnerable to continued Eurozone instability.  Manufacturers are forecasting leaner times in the third quarter, with an expected negative trend in new orders.
“Construction businesses continue to perform below expectations, despite the continued and welcome efforts by the Scottish Government to maintain and extend levels of capital spending in our economy.  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 the tourism sector the possible impact of the Olympics on tourism numbers, the recent bad weather experienced in many parts of the country, the well-publicised delays at customs at Heathrow and the relative appreciation of the pound to the euro appear to be influencing the pattern and volume of domestic and international visitors to Scotland.   
“As we have consistently reported, the recovery remains tentative and uncertain and Governments at both the UK and Scottish level need to do more to support and encourage the recovery.  The Scottish Government has led the way in identifying increased capital spending as an important policy in helping to address economic stagnation and it is now time for the UK Government to act boldly to stimulate demand and to reduce the focus on austerity; the evidence clearly shows that the current mix of policies of mainly austerity and limited support for growth is holding back any economic recovery.  The Government’s economic plan needs to move to a new phase focused on growth”

Quarter 2 Results - Click Here