Latest Fraser of Allander and Scottish Chambers of Commerce report now published
The latest Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) Quarterly Economic Indicator in partnership with the University of Strathclyde Business School’s Fraser of Allander Institute survey for Q2 of 2020 has been published (July 2).
The survey confirms the economic pain that has been felt by Scottish businesses across sectors in all parts of the country due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the subsequent lockdown.
Commenting on the results, Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, said, “This latest survey from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce presents a sombre picture of the scale of the challenge now facing the Scottish economy.
“Across the board, confidence has plummeted, with a sharp fall in sales, turnover and investment across the business base. Chief amongst these was the unprecedented response from the tourism community, where a staggering – albeit not unsurprisingly – 95% of firms reported a fall in business confidence.
“What is particularly worrying is the employment outlook. The survey shows a clear warning of what is to come, with a sharp rise in unemployment now inevitable as businesses adjust to a new normal. The immediate priority for many businesses is survival.’’
Commenting on the results, Tim Allan, president of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said, “In many instances, these results are among the worst over the 30-year history of the survey. However, the circumstances of which they have arisen means that they should come as little surprise. COVID-19 has drastically halted or limited activity across all sectors of the Scottish and global economy.
“Our message to government is this: work productively with businesses in our shared aim of protecting jobs and local economies that may be lost forever if action is not taken now. Businesses are eager to do whatever they can to adapt to what will be a testing business environment; which will include changing workplace practises, dramatically evolving business models and re-skilling the workforce which will be critical across all sectors.
“It is critical that governments in Holyrood and Westminster continue to provide business support for companies during and beyond the easing of lockdown restrictions. A sudden end to these vital financial support measures would not be welcome by anyone and a tsunami of jobs would disappear overnight.
“Looking towards the future, governments must accelerate investment plans to fuel economic demand and activity as well as providing support for sectors to adapt to the new economy. This must go hand in hand with job guarantee and training schemes that ensure that we do not see a lost generation of talent.”
A copy of this report can be downloaded from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network
Published: 2 July 2020