The latest findings from a leading Scottish business survey by the Scottish Chambers of
Commerce (SCC), shows the Scottish economy struggling against a growing whirlwind of
pressures including increased input costs, inflationary hikes, mis-judged economic policy
choices by the UK Government and increased pessimism over the global economic outlook.


• INFLATION REMAINS TOP CONCERN: Last quarter saw record high level of concern
from inflation, cited by 92% of all firms. While it has eased over the quarter, it remains at
significantly high levels for the survey at 88% of all firms, compared to the average of
35% from 2018 – 2021.

• ENERGY BILLS TOP LIST OF COST PRESSURES: The top cost pressure is from
utilities such as electricity and gas with it being cited by 80% of firms, followed by labour
costs at 72% and then fuel costs at 63% of firms.

• FIRMS STILL PLANNING TO RAISE PRICES: 8 in 10 of all firms indicate that they
intend to raise the prices that they charge over the next quarter, this is a record high for
the survey and a figure which has grown exponentially over the year. In comparison,
50% of all firms said they would increase their prices in Q3 2021 last year.

• STRUGGLING CONFIDENCE: Cashflow and profits remain weak across all sectors. On
balance, all firms have reported a fall in confidence compared to the previous quarter
and a more significant fall compared to last year. On a sectoral basis, construction, retail
and tourism sectors all reported falls on balance.

Stephen Leckie, President of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“Frozen investment, faltering confidence, falling cashflow and profits, and a pessimistic
global outlook, paint a concerning picture for businesses in Scotland.
“There is more pressure to come in the winter months. The signs of an economic bounce
back don't look promising as more and more firms are telling us that they have been forced
to cancel contracts, projects or plans to expand, due to soaring costs and difficulty in hiring

“Whilst we recognise the strain that has been placed on the public finances, governments in
Edinburgh and London must make clear how businesses will be supported to survive
through the difficult months ahead and what measures will be put in place to support longterm growth.”

On the Scottish Government emergency budget, Stephen Leckie said:
“The Scottish Government’s Emergency Budget – which also faces immense budgetary
pressures – must set out how it intends to protect businesses and industries from the worst
effects of the mounting costs crisis. It should also set out how Scotland’s taxation policies
such as income tax and LBTT will apply competitiveness to help attract investment and
create jobs.

SCC QEI Q3 2022 - Report

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