New labour market data and other economic indicators…

Today we’ve received new labour market statistics from the ONS. It is important to note at the outset that these relate to the period before the UK economy went in to lockdown.

This means that the data today tell us little, if anything, about how the economy is doing right now. But they do tell us about the health of the labour market going in to this pandemic.

In this article, we do three things: examine what the labour market data released today tells us, set out what other data are available that shed light on or scenario for the path of the economy at the moment, and set out the key timings for future data releases on the economy.

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April 21, 2020

Scottish Business Monitor: findings by sector

Last week, we published the results for our latest Scottish Business Monitor, a survey of Scottish businesses, published in partnership with Addleshaw Goddard.

The survey provided a stark illustration of the economic cost of the COVID-19 shutdown. Nearly 90% of the businesses that we engaged with had seen their turnover negatively impacted since the start of the crisis. Over 80% said the number of hours staff are working have also been negatively impacted.

In this blog, we provide an overview of the experience within different sectors of the Scottish economy.Continue reading

April 16, 2020

Scottish Business Monitor shows expected fall in activity and outlook

This report summarises some key results from our latest Fraser of Allander (FAI) Scottish Business Monitor, published in partnership with Addleshaw Goddard.

The survey was conducted over the period 1st – 8th April 2020. We engaged with almost 500 businesses from across the Scottish economy, in both different industries and parts of the country.

The results provide an important indicator of activity within the Scottish business community, and their reflections upon the current crisis.Continue reading

April 9, 2020

Businesses show increase in confidence for the coming 6 months after a challenging end to 2019

  • The Fraser of Allander Business Monitor is one of the first major surveys of Scottish firms post-election.
  • The figures show that the outlook for business activity, investment and employment are at their highest level since 2014. This follows a challenging end to 2019 for all these indicators.
  • Expectations of growth in the Scottish economy over the next year have also improved, with more firms believing it will be moderate, and less believing it will be weak.

You can read the full Business Monitor here.

Scottish Business Monitor Dashboard

  Q4 2019 3-year average Change over quarter Change over year
FAI Business Activity Index (net % balance*) 5 80 -5 ▼
New Business 2 9 -1 ▼ -8 ▼
Turnover 4 9 -4 ▼ -9 ▼
Costs 63 54  7 ▲ 8 ▲
New Capital Investment -9 -7 -6 ▼ -5 ▼
Export Activity -11 0 -3 ▼ -5 ▼

Our principal indicator of activity – the FAI Business Activity Index – remained unchanged this quarter, and just below its three-year average.

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February 6, 2020

Q3 Quarterly Economic Indicator published today…

The latest Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) Quarterly Economic Indicator survey, in partnership with the Fraser of Allander Institute, for Q3 of 2019 was published today. 


The Survey shows that businesses continue to struggle due to factors caused by Brexit uncertainty in the most recent quarter. Confidence remains on a downward trend in most sectors compared to the same period last year. Yet businesses, particularly in the financial and business services sector, are cautiously optimistic that a positive outcome to Brexit on 31 October could start restoring confidence in the Scottish economy.

You can read the full report here:

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October 11, 2019