Rising problems in Scottish businesses have “cast doubt over the economic viability of independence”, according to a business consultancy.
Scotland was the only part of the UK to see a rise in “critical problems” in the year to July, a report on the financial health of UK corporations by Begbies Traynor said.
However, the picture started to improve between April and July with a quarter-on-quarter fall in “financial distress”, against quarterly increases almost everywhere else.
The economic recovery was “firmly established” everywhere in the UK except Scotland, it said.
Under the heading “rising distress in Scotland casts doubt over economic viability of independence”, the report says: “Scotland was the only area in the UK to experience a rise in financial distress year on year.
“As more Scottish businesses continue to underperform compared to their peers south of the border, this worrying trend will only add to the growing uncertainty over the country’s economic stability ahead of the upcoming referendum for independence in September.”
Across the UK, construction, financial services and travel and tourism saw some of the largest declines in distress.
The construction sector has seen “significant improvement”, especially in the house building category.