Scottish firms report higher activity levels

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

For the first time since the third quarter of 2019, business volume in the restaurant industry is positive.

The report, commissioned in partnership with the Fraser of Allander Institute at Strathclyde University, confirms the business spirit continued to improve during the second quarter of 2021.

More than 500 Scottish firms responded to the survey and as a share of companies said they have some or very high confidence in further trade over the next six months, this rose from 82.6% in the last quarter of 2020 to 91.8% in the second quarter of 2021.

The hospitality industry registered its first positive report since Q3 2019 and expectations for the next six months are the most optimistic since Q2 2014.

More than a third (37.2%) of firms reported a moderate or a high level of debt in the pandemic.

Addi Spiers, restructuring and finance partner at Addleshaw Goddard, added: "We are now seeing more firms adopt some sort of" Normal, "We're now seeing more firms embrace some sort of normality. The latest results from our Business Monitor show that this, alongside the move to level 0, has brought further positivity in the volume of activity for Scottish companies.

Businesses trading with the EU are also still feeling the effect of Brexit with 70% saying they have been adversely affected on trade with the bloc since the transition period has stopped, and only 2% reporting a positive effect.

At the same time, 38 per cent of the companies surveyed said Brexit had adversely affected their ability to fill vacancies and the majority (60 per cent) said Brexit had not had any effect on their ability to fill vacancies.