FSB 'Voice of Small Business' Index - Breakdown for Scotland
The FSB ‘Voice of Small Business' Index has been created from the views of small firms from the FSB's survey panel. The report is produced by the centre for economic and business research.
The Index looks at capacity levels, employment, revenues and the confidence of small firms. It also provides information on regional businesses with a breakdown by sector across the UK.
From the third quarter of 2012, the FSB started to produce a Scottish breakdown and analysis of the results.
The FSB's first economic report of 2013 suggests tentative signs of growing optimism among small businesses.
Scottish small business confidence also rose in the first quarter of 2013 but still lags behind the UK average.
A breakdown of the FSB's quarterly confidence index also shows Scottish small business investment intentions are on the increase and are now higher than the equivalent UK figure for the first time in a year. However, despite intentions to invest, fewer Scottish small businesses are applying for finance.
The last quarterly confidence index of 2012 from the FSB shows small firms are displaying a greater level of confidence compared to the same point in recent years.
Scottish small businesses' profit margins were squeezed by rising costs and weak trading conditions during the last quarter of 2012. Our UK Small Business Index for last quarter fell by 1.1 points against the previous quarter, but it is close to 20 points higher than at this point last year.
Confidence fell into negative territory for the first time since Q4 2011. More firms are being refused credit but 50 per cent of firms want to grow in the coming 12 months. Scottish small business confidence lags behind the UK average.