Scots firms ‘confident’ after general election

Scottish businesses are 'confident' following last week's general election poll. AFP/Getty Images
Scottish businesses are 'confident' following last week's general election poll. AFP/Getty Images
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THE NEW UK government has inherited a confident business community in Scotland but underlying “fragility” is a cause for concern, according to a new report.

The latest business trends report was compiled by accountants and business advisers BDO LLP.

The new government also has the opportunity to boost future economic growth by investing judiciously in our country’s infrastructure. I hope that they will take it

Martin Gill

BDO’s optimism index, which predicts business growth six months ahead, held steady this month at 104.7, which the report authors said pointed to strong confidence among Scottish firms.

“This suggests businesses have been unruffled by the election campaign and are resilient in the face of Eurozone uncertainty,” BDO said.

A separate index charting output rose to 104.3 in April, up from 103.7 the previous month, indicating that growth could speed up in the latter half of 2015 following a weaker start to the year.

But BDO said the new government must put actions in place to help businesses thrive.

Martin Gill, lead partner at BDO LLP in Scotland, said: “Ahead of the 2010 election our data showed high levels of business confidence, much like this time around. However this fell away not long after, and so to avoid this happening again, the new government needs to put firm actions in place to help businesses thrive.

“It is encouraging to see that businesses are feeling optimistic about the coming months in the hands of a new government, but the confidence that counts is the confidence that converts to businesses actually investing.

“Our new leaders must help with this by putting tangible measures in place that will encourage businesses to invest in training or research, technology and equipment to help improve productivity.

“The new government also has the opportunity to boost future economic growth by investing judiciously in our country’s infrastructure. I hope that they will take it.”