SCC Quarterly Economic Indicator in association with the Fraser of Allander Institute



The latest results from The Scottish Chambers of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Indicator, in collaboration with the Fraser of Allander Institute of the University of Strathclyde show optimism amongst most Scottish businesses continuing to improve during the 3rd quarter of 2017, reaching levels higher than a year ago in construction, financial and business services, manufacturing, and tourism. The survey shows Scottish businesses remaining  resilient in the face of significant policy uncertainty and a fragile Scottish economy which continues to grow at below trend levels.

Professor Graeme Roy of the Fraser of Allander Institute, one of the report’s contributors, has warned that record high employment levels are increasingly leading to recruitment difficulties across most sectors, leading to dampened growth and increases costs.

In a foreword to the report he said: “In such uncertain times, it is even more important that businesses focus on the long-term drivers of growth that they can control – including innovation, investing in productivity improvements, and developing the skills of their workforce.”

The survey also showed that tourism was a stand-out performer over the third quarter of 2017 due to the weak pound’s effect on foreign holidays.

By contrast there was cause for concern in the continued decline in the retail & wholesale sector in Scotland, with several indicators including sales revenue and cash flow continuing to decline along with employment trends, emphasising the added importance of a strong performance in the Q4 pre-Christmas period.

Financial services also appears to be building on its strong start to 2017 albeit activity has yet to fully recover to where it was three of four years ago, while despite improving optimism overall activity in construction continues to remain relatively fragile.

Published: 25 October 2017

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