Review of Scottish business surveys [March 2016]

Malloy, Eleanor (2016) Review of Scottish business surveys [March 2016]. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 39 (3). pp. 44-58. ISSN 2046-5378

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Business surveys provide a useful barometer of the investment and business intentions across the economy. The business surveys reviewed in this section provide an overview of key recent evidence of the Scottish economy. Business Surveys are primarily conducted to provide data needed for calculating key economic indicators that monitor the economy over time and for constructing official statistics. The rapid rate of change in economic data creates a demand for quick estimators/indicators of these changes ideally ‘as they are happening’. Survey data have the advantages of essentially being instantaneously accessible, never being revised and furthermore having little or no measurement errors. The latest set of Scottish Business Surveys are not particularly strong and show that many of the key benchmark indicators continued to slow in the most recent quarters, perhaps highlighting the impacts of the continuing low oil price and the low value of the pound on the Scottish economy.