Businesses ‘pessimistic’ about future

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Business leaders today called for action as a survey showed firms were “increasingly pessimistic” about their future.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce said business optimism had declined across all sectors, reflecting growing uncertainty about any economic recovery.

Official statistics yesterday showed a slump in the construction industry, with the loss of around 10,000 jobs, led to growth of just 0.1 per cent during the second quarter of 2011.

Scotland is now lagging behind the UK as a whole, with annual growth for the year to the end of June of 1.1 per cent compared with 1.5 per cent UK-wide. It also emerged Scotland had seen a 46 per cent rise in the number of businesses going to the wall last year.

Labour branded the slowdown the “Salmond slump” and the Lib Des said it was time to “drop the hype” about the Scottish Government’s economic “Plan MacB”.