David Cameron lost 20,000 UK businesses in his first year

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By Russell Bruce

And almost a quarter (4800) were manufacturing businesses.  There is a lot of gloom about from the Euro crisis to everybody printing money – the States, the Euro bail-out pot, and now Mervyn King at the Bank of England has joined in.

Not a day passes but the Financial Times runs at least one story on the Euro crisis and usually a whole clutch of them.  This week brings more depressing figures we are forewarned.  The retail sector is still having a hard time and September’s figures are expected to confirm that we are still not spending.

By Russell Bruce

And almost a quarter (4800) were manufacturing businesses.  There is a lot of gloom about from the Euro crisis to everybody printing money – the States, the Euro bail-out pot, and now Mervyn King at the Bank of England has joined in.

Not a day passes but the Financial Times runs at least one story on the Euro crisis and usually a whole clutch of them.  Next week brings more depressing figures we are forewarned.  The retail sector is still having a hard time and September’s figures are expected to confirm that we are still not spending.

Then there are the monthly employment and unemployment figures.  Good news is not expected.

It seems every nation/region shared in Cameron’s business closure ‘achievement’ according to figures just released from the Office of National Statistics – bar two.

Now I do like to bring a bit of cheer when I can.  Scotland saw some modest growth in the number of businesses since 2010, as did London against the carnage elsewhere in the UK.  Wales and the West Midlands were the worst hit areas.

The Inter Departmental Business Register (IDBR) is compiled from information on VAT traders and PAYE employers.

Corporate businesses make up the largest share of the Register representing 59.8% up by 0.9% from 2010.  Sole proprietors account for 23.3%, down by 0.5%.  Partnerships, accounting for 12.7% are also down by 0.5%.  Government and non-profit making bodies make up the remainder, down from 4.2% to 4.1%.

This week’s rash of statistics starts with the Purchasing Manager’s Index for Scotland (PMI) from Bank of Scotland.  Scotland is still showing growth but the level of increase over last month is less than we have seen in what has been strong growth over a sustained period.

Scotland’s continuous nine-month run of growth at 51.9 for September compares to a surprising improvement this month in the all-UK figure of 52.9.  Scotland’s output figure for the last 3 months stands at 52.7, identical to the UK’s.  Only London the West Midlands and East Midlands had higher output figures.

Given that the Dave Cameron Coalition Combo have managed to mislay 100 manufacturing companies a week since they married in a rose garden.  (It was us, the people, they didn’t promise a rose garden.)  I thought I would bring you some international PMI comparisons.

A PMI figure above 50 means growth on the previous month, below 50 means a fall.  The global PMI for September was 49.9, a 27-month low.  So Scotland is doing OK in these very difficult times.

John Swinney is obviously doing something, if not a few things, right, when the Business Register figure for Scotland is higher than 2010.

Scotland’s manufacturing industry has been transformed from the days when many of us were growing up and old industries were closing in a seemingly endless stream.

Scotland’s manufacturing output increased solidly in September continuing a nine-month run with a manufacturing output PMI of 52.2.

To put this in context here are some PMI international comparisons for manufacturing output.

Scotland             52.2

Germany              50.3

Netherlands          48.9

Austria                 48.7

Italy                    48.3

France                 48.2

Ireland                47.3

Spain                  43.7

Greece                 43.2

Italy’s output was actually a 2-month high at 48.3.  Greece’s figure was a 7-month low and all the other continental country figures were the lowest for 24 months or more.

It was a funny old week last week.  Mags Curran is the new Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland.  Don’t think she does shadow, except where sandwich bars are concerned, but Ed Milliband must see something that has escaped the rest of us.

Willie Rennie has announced he wants home rule but has not articulated further.  Liam Fox is in a spot of bother for his unofficial adviser buddy following him around the globe making business propositions to anyone Liam has lined up and Michael Moore is – well he’s Michael Moore what do you expect?

That was the week that was and it ended with hints of lots of unpromising economic statistics to emerge this week.

At least I’ve found something to get the week off on a more positive note as far as Scotland is concerned.

Doesn’t look good for Dr Fox though.