The Scottish economy is pushing ahead after an improvement in new business orders over the summer helped to counter a blip earlier in the year.
The Bank of Scotland’s latest Business Monitor covering the quarter to the end of August found the economy had picked up over the period and the expectation was that moderate growth would be achieved over the coming six months.
“The Scottish economy slowed at the start of 2015 but is expected to return to moderate growth in summer and autumn,” bank chief economist Donald MacRae said.
“Expectations remain positive and suggest that current growth rates will be maintained in the third quarter of the year.”
However, despite the improving outlook, concerns over access to credit, rising costs, late account payments and the impact of the strength of the pound were all raised as issues by respondent companies.
The survey shows 36% of firms increased turnover in the quarter, revenues were flat at the same number and 28% saw a decrease.
The net balance of 8% was a 1% improvement on the previous quarter, but significantly lower than the 30% surge seen over summer 2014.
The highlight of the current monitor is a reported strong increase in levels of new business.
The net balance for the quarter was 17%, a significant upturn from the 3% of the previous quarter and close to the levels seen 12 months ago.
The improvement followed a poor six months for new orders extending from the latter part of last year into the spring.
Total business volumes also continued on an upwards trajectory with a net balance of 11%.
The monitor found that growth was evident in the production and dominant services sectors, although the improvement trend was less pronounced in the former.
It also found that export activity fell during the quarter but, at -9%, there was a significant improvement on the previous three months when the measure came in at -24%.
Overall, Mr MacRae said it was an improving picture for the Scottish economy as more people found themselves in work.
He said: “Falling unemployment is contributing to high levels of consumer confidence.
“This is being expressed through moderate increases in consumer spending accompanied by a fairly constant rate of saving.
“Earnings growth is now exceeding the rate of consumer price inflation maintaining both consumer confidence and the current rate of saving.”