Business confidence in Scotland rose 15 points during February to -17%, according to the latest Business Barometer from Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking.
Companies in Scotland reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, up 16 points at -11%.
When taken alongside their views of the economy, up 15 points to -22%, this gives a headline confidence reading of -17%.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly, with the overall ‘balance’ of opinion weighing up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.
When it comes to jobs, a net balance of 4% of businesses in Scotland expect to reduce staff levels over the next year, down 24 points on last month.
Across the UK, overall business confidence rose in February as both governments announced their ‘roadmaps’ out of lockdown.
Confidence increased by nine points to 2%, the first net positive reading since