Scotland business

Scottish firms continue to grow output despite uncertainty

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Scottish firms continued to grow their output during the spring months, figures from the Fraser of Allander Institute have revealed.

The index showed 40% of firms surveyed by the institute increased output in the second quarter of 2019, while 26% reported a decline.

Business investment continued its falling trend, while managers await more certainty about Brexit.

Export performance fell to the worst position in three years.

Mairi Spowage, head of economic analysis at the institute, said there had been growth in the Scottish economy "despite continued uncertainty".

She added: "In particular, business activity is up from the first quarter of this year. Over the last quarter there has been fewer businesses worrying about future demand. However, it remains the greatest concern for Scottish businesses.

"The slowdown in investment has persisted and the downward trend in exports appears to be disproportionately affecting smaller businesses.

"Businesses still remain unprepared for a no-deal Brexit and the recent jump in political uncertainty is not going to help over the next few months."

The report found that net balances in exports slumped to its lowest level in three years, with only one in five firms indicating a rise in export activity.

The economic data comes ahead of the publication of Scotland's GDP figures for the first quarter of 2019.

A separate report from the Royal Bank of Scotland published last week showed Scotland's private sector has suffered a drop in output for the fifth time in six months.