This morning on BBC Scotland’s wee insert into BBC Breakfast we heard that ‘Business confidence in Scotland has taken a BATTERING (heavy emphasis)’ based on a Bank of Scotland Business Barometer survey. We also heard that ‘there was a 17-point fall during the first half of July’ (a two-week trend?) and that confidence was the lowest in Scotland. The Scotsman and the National went for falling and sliding rather than battering in their headlines.
Somewhat confusingly the same Bank of Scotland Business Barometer at the end of June had report confidence 17% higher in Scotland and higher here than elsewhere in the UK! See this from Insider on June 29:
‘Plans for hiring staff in Scotland are at a year-long high, according to a new report. The Bank of Scotland’s Business Barometer for June shows a 17% rise in overall business confidence across Scotland in the past month to 17%. Hiring intentions north of the border have reached their highest level since May 2018 as a net balance of a fifth of businesses (20%) plan to create new jobs in the next year – up 23% on last month. Economic optimism has risen 19 points to 2% in the past month, while firms’ confidence in their own business prospects was 32%, up from 17% in May. Brexit fears for businesses have dropped in Scotland, the barometer found, but a net balance of around a third of firms still believe the UK’s exit from the EU is having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity. This has dropped 18% from last month. The monthly survey of 1,200 businesses found business confidence in Scotland is four percentage points higher than that across the UK as a whole.’
As far as I can remember, BBC Scotland had ignored the above good news at the time and did not use it to contextualise or to make today’s report more reliably informative. They did not, of course, report much if any, of these many other good news stories on the Scottish economy: