Worst of the recession 'now over'
There are stronger signs of economic activity in Scotland, although the recovery remains frail, according to a survey.
The Scottish Chambers of Commerce report said the indications were that the worst of the recession was over.
In all sectors, trends in business confidence were stronger than a year ago.
However it warned that many firms were still experiencing difficult trading conditions.
This latest report for April to June 2013 is very different to the same period a year ago when it suggested there were more signs of a stagnating economy.
Construction and manufacturing businesses have reported an improving picture and tourism firms appear to be having a better season so far compared with 2012.
Tourism business confidence was the highest since the second quarter of 2006.
Retailers, however, were less optimistic and the survey found that fewer than a fifth of the smaller outlets reported a rise in confidence, which the chambers said reflected the weak consumer confidence and spending.
Garry Clark, head of policy at Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "Our latest survey indicates stronger signs of an economic recovery, with more positive trends and expectations compared to a year ago.
"Nevertheless demand still remains weak and much continues to depend upon a return to growth in our major export markets, increased participation in exporting by Scottish businesses and on the policies of the Scottish and UK governments."
He added: "Policies to sustain this recovery and to promote sustainable economic growth are critical. More still needs to be done to ensure that business gets the capital it needs."