Review of Scottish business surveys [June 2010]

Lockyer, Cliff and Malloy, Eleanor (2010) Review of Scottish business surveys [June 2010]. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 34 (6). pp. 32-36. ISSN 2046-5378

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Interpreting business survey trends, especially those relating to the service sector, have been more problematic that normal, given the change to VAT rates at the beginning of 2010, an unduly harsh winter, the ending of the car ‘scrappage’ scheme, travel and related dislocation due to the Icelandic volcano eruption and rising petrol prices. In contrast almost all surveys (the quarterly Scottish Chambers, Scottish Engineering, Confederation of British Industries and monthly Bank of Scotland PMI surveys) have reported rising confidence, activity and exports in Scottish manufacturing. Data for May 2010 (Bank of Scotland PMI report and Leading Indicators Report) suggests a slight acceleration of the recovery in the private sector with both output and new business growth in both manufacturing and the service sectors.