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Scottish economy on a knife edge

Despite the fact that the Scottish economy, like others in the UK, exited the recession in the final quarter of 2009 there is no doubt that the economy is struggling. Ahead of what could be significant public-sector spending cuts, and significant job losses in this area, there has been a sustained reduction in business confidence and consumer confidence.

When you also take into account the fact that the Scottish economy effectively "flat lined" between January and March 2010 there is real concern about the short to medium term prospects for the economy. It is becoming more and more apparent that Scotland depends upon the public sector more than any other in the UK and a reduction in various areas of government spending could hit the country very hard.

The marked reduction in business confidence comes ahead of a government spending review which is likely to see major investment reductions across the board. It is debatable as to whether the Scottish economy has a strong enough private sector to take up any slack left by reduced public-sector investment. Whether or not this strengthens or weakens the case for independence from England is also debatable but there is no doubt that the Scottish economy is heading for troubled waters.

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