Scottish economy grinds to a halt

This latest edition for the three months ending 31 August 2008 shows 39% of firms surveyed reporting a decrease in turnover, 32% reporting static turnover and 29% reporting an increase, giving a net balance of -10%, down significantly from the previous quarter's figure of +11% and the +28% recorded for the same quarter one year ago.

Service businesses are affected more than manufacturing, with service business reporting a net balance of -20% and production +6%. Although both sectors are experiencing a slowdown, production continues to grow.

The volumes of repeat and new business have slumped in the service sector. The number of service firms experiencing growth in turnover due to the volume of repeat business was almost half the number who reported a decrease giving a net balance of -17%. New business figures were poorer with a net balance of -21%. Together with corresponding figures from the production sector of -8% and -6% respectively, these are the poorest results recorded in the history of the Business Monitor.

Expectations of increasing turnover in the next six months have slumped. The overall balance for turnover for the next six months is -28%, a sharp drop from the +1% of the previous quarter and the +21% of the same quarter one year ago. This is the first time in the history of the Business Monitor that expectations have been largely negative. Service businesses are more pessimistic with a net figure of -34% compared to -20% from production firms.