Scots business confidence growing
Confidence among Scotland's business community is starting to flourish, according to a Bank of Scotland survey.
The study, which measures firms' outlook for sales, orders and profit, found increased optimism compared with the historic low of 2008.
The bank said small and medium-sized firms were drawing strength from overseas markets despite continued weak domestic demand.
About one-fifth of firms said they expected order book levels to rise.
According to the survey, the biggest worry for firms was falling domestic demand.
However, 57% of the Scottish companies asked said they expected to grow their exports over the coming six months.
Donald Kerr, of the bank's commercial department, said: "Business confidence in Scotland is on the turn and we are beginning to see signs that firms in Scotland are hopeful for the future, with many seeing better sales and profitability on the horizon.
"Concerns about home-grown demand unsurprisingly weigh on the minds of business owners whose success depends on domestic markets."