16 December 2020
Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said:
“Economic growth bounced back in Q3 2020 following the easing of lockdown measures, but the Scottish economy remained nearly 10% smaller than it was at the end of 2019. With Scotland entering back into a rolling cycle of tiered restrictions in the autumn, we’re likely to see the recovery taking a step back in Q4.
“Hospitality, retail and tourism firms have been amongst the most impacted by the pandemic, and the second hit caused by reintensifying restrictions may prove to be too much for some to bear. While recent employment figures for Scotland were encouraging relative to the rest of the UK, the labour market remains fragile and fear of increased job losses over the winter remains a live concern.
“Additional support from the UK and Scottish governments – most notably the extension of the Job Retention Scheme – has been welcome. And the recent good news on vaccines gives hope for the future and may give some stimulus to spending.
“But this time should be used wisely: investing in mass testing, ensuring a seamless test and protect system and an efficient vaccine rollout will be critical to tackling the pandemic. At the same time, businesses want to see a clear strategy for early 2021 and assurances that a return to the same cycle of severe restrictions is unlikely.”