Business confidence continues to fall following the European Union referendum result and is at its lowest ebb for over three years, says a new report.
Research by accountants BDO LLP showed a particularly gloomy picture among manufacturing companies.
But the report said the decline in confidence after Brexit was less than expected.
Commenting on the findings, Martin Gill, Scottish head of BDO LLP, said: “It was clear that the Scottish economy was cooling before the Brexit vote and that this trend has continued although perhaps not at as great a rate as was predicted.
“However, the current figures highlight just how great a drop in output and optimism there has been year on year and this would indicate a distinct slowing down in economic growth which the Brexit vote appears to have done little to abate.
“The Scottish government figures this week highlighted a slowdown in manufacturing as well as a drop in both the engineering and food sectors. It is clear, therefore, that there were issues with some sectors before the EU referendum.”