Business confidence in Scotland rose seven points last month, according to a new survey.
The latest Business Barometer from Bank of Scotland found confidence increased to 11% in November, up from 4% the previous month.
Firms’ confidence in their own business prospects also rose, increasing to 22% compared with 18% a month ago.
When asked if Scottish businesses felt optimistic or pessimistic about the economy generally, firms were evenly split with a net balance of 0%, although this was an improvement on the previous month when a net balance of nine per cent described themselves as pessimistic.
“The belief Scottish businesses have in their own prospects has been on a steady upward trajectory for the last three months and is helping lift overall confidence, which is encouraging,” said Fraser Sime, director of SME banking for the Bank of Scotland.
“While views on the economy are currently at a stalemate, this too is an improvement on a month ago and is reflective of the ongoing uncertainty of the broader UK economic landscape.
“Scottish businesses will be hoping for greater clarity in the coming months, which will help them to plan for the future and hopefully reverse the slowdown in recruitment plans.”
Companies’ hiring intentions slowed in November, with a net balance of 2% of businesses in Scotland expecting to cut jobs during the next year.
Meanwhile, a net balance of 24% of businesses said they felt the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, up four points on a month ago.
The study found across the UK, overall confidence bounced back, climbing five points to 24% as firms’ optimism about the economy rose nine points to 17%.
Companies’ confidence in their own business prospects rose two points to 31%.
The Business Barometer questioned 1,200 businesses, including 100 in Scotland, between November 1 and 16.