The latest Fraser of Allander Scottish Business Monitor

Yesterday, the latest Scottish Business Monitor (SBM) was published. The survey is supported by Royal Bank of Scotland.

2019 marks the 22nd year the SBM has been run by the Fraser of Allander. The survey provides a snapshot of activity in the Scottish economy well in advance of official data. It also acts as a gauge of future activity levels by monitoring the optimism level of firms.

The latest results

This latest Scottish Business Monitor covers activity up to the end of Q4 2018 and provides expectations to May 2020.

The FAI Business Activity Index sits at +10%. This is above the three year average of +5% but a fall of -6 since last quarter.

This latest data shows that the Scottish economy continued to grow in the final few months of 2018.

Our headline FAI Business Activity Index slipped a little from a net balance of 16% in Q3 to 10% in Q4. Whilst this is above the long-term series average, it is lower than businesses were expecting just three months ago. Small businesses appear to be the most gloomy.

Also of concern is the fact that businesses in Scotland are reporting not just a decline in investment – as has been the case now since early 2017 – but also a modest fall back in export activity.

See the full details of the publication here.

January 11, 2019

Brexit: the mood amongst Scottish businesses

The last month has been a tumultuous time in the Brexit negotiations following the publication of the Prime Minister’s Chequers plan and the subsequent resignation of senior UK Ministers.

To help understand how businesses in Scotland are viewing recent developments, over the course of July we have been speaking to around 350 businesses from across the country (and from a variety of different sectors).

The focus of the survey was not on whether or not businesses believe Brexit to be good or bad, but instead, how their preparatory plans were taking shape.

This blog summarises the results of our survey – with a full run down of the results to be published in next month’s Economic Commentary which we’ll be publishing in partnership with Deloitte.Continue reading

August 6, 2018

Optimism returning to the North Sea

The price of a barrel of oil has been rising steadily in recent months.

Whilst prices have slipped back a little – in the light of OPEC’s apparent plan to relax their recent self-imposed constraints on supply – oil prices continue to hover close to their highest level in three years.

The recent increase has helped to provide a boost for contractors and operators in the North Sea.

You may have missed it over the last few days following the publication of a couple of other economic reports, but late last month we published the latest set of results in our joint survey with Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce – sponsored by KPMG – which showed further signs of returning optimism in the sector.

In this blog, we discuss some of the key results and their potential implications for the wider Scottish economy and the growth outlook for 2018.Continue reading

June 6, 2018

A renewable future from oil and gas?

Grant Allan and Eleanor Malloy

Fraser of Allander Institute


Are oil and gas firms seeing opportunities in renewables? In this blog, we examine the responses from our latest Oil and Gas Survey, produced along with Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

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July 6, 2017

Latest Royal Bank of Scotland Scottish Business Monitor Results

Today we published our latest Scottish Business Monitor with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The results cover the 2nd quarter of 2017 and are therefore a helpful up-to-date indicator of economic trends in Scotland. Overall, the results suggest that the Scottish economy grew in the 3-months up to the end of June, albeit at a fragile pace.

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July 3, 2017