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Scottish Business Monitor, 2024 Q2

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

The survey sampled around 330 firms in September and October from across the Scottish economy, examining business sentiment in Q2 2024 and the outlook for the year ahead.

Q2 2024 was a cautiously optimistic time for business in Scotland. Over the quarter, businesses typically experienced an uptick across all activities. Most measures, except employment, show improved conditions. Similarly, in every category, the proportion of businesses reporting higher costs has decreased compared to the last quarter.

Looking ahead, there is a positive balance of businesses expecting the volume of business activity to increase in the next 6 months.

Our latest results also show that:

  • The vast majority of businesses expect economic/business uncertainty (89%), staff availability (81%), and political uncertainty (83%) to be important or very important over the next three months. Although these figures remain relatively high, they have significantly decreased from the previous quarter.
  • In every category, the proportion of businesses reporting that costs were higher has decreased compared to last quarter. Looking ahead, 72% of firms expect total business costs to increase over the next six months, an improvement from 85% last quarter. Wages and total employee costs are expected to be the main drivers.
  • The share of firms expecting weak/very weak growth in the Scottish economy has fallen from 68% to 63% this quarter. Conversely, 28% are expecting moderate or strong growth over the next year in the Scottish economy, up from 19% last quarter.

Authors

João is Deputy Director and Senior Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute. Previously, he was a Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Office for Budget Responsibility, where he led on analysis of long-term sustainability of the UK's public finances and on the effect of economic developments and fiscal policy on the UK's medium-term outlook.

Brodie is a Knowledge Exchange Assistant at the Fraser of AllanderInstitute.She has recently completed an MSc in Applied Economics at the University of Strathclyde and has a first-class Honour’s degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Glasgow

Ben is an economist at the Fraser of Allander Institute working across a number of projects areas. He has a Masters in Economics from the University of Edinburgh, and a degree in Economics from the University of Strathclyde.

His main areas of focus are economic policy, social care and criminal justice in Scotland. Ben also co-edits the quarter Economic Commentary and has experience in business survey design and dissemination.

Part of Collection

The quarterly Fraser of Allander Scottish Business Monitor, in partnership with Addleshaw Goddard, provides a snapshot of activity and business sentiment in the Scottish economy.