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26 February 2021 | Economy

State of the Nation: Business confidence rises amidst vaccine hope and Brexit pain

 

State of the Nation: Business confidence rises amidst Vaccine hope and Brexit pain

Business confidence is surging, but the economic outlook remains difficult and uncertain, according to SCDI’s latest State of the Nation briefing for March.

The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt in lower levels of growth, employment and productivity.

The impact of Brexit as the UK’s transition period with the EU came to an end in January continues to be felt in disruption at ports and through supply chains, as well as in lower levels of trade.

Key points

  • Interest rates remain unchanged at 0.1% – but Bank of England signals it could go deploy ‘negative interest rates’ in 6 months
  • 55% of employees working from home are ‘less productive’ and ‘less engaged’
  • Scottish private sector confidence rises to highest level for 7 years as COVID-19 vaccine rollout gathers pace
  • 57% of businesses who trade with EU have been negatively impacted by end of Brexit transition period, with exports from UK ports to EU down by 68%
  • Unemployment has largely stabilised at around 4.5% – but 1 in 5 workers worried about losing their jobs

Download March’s State of the Nation briefing below for all the latest data and forecasts in one place.