OPTIMISM among Scottish businesses has risen in the last month, a survey shows.

The latest business barometer from Bank of Scotland also signals Scottish companies’ hiring intentions over the next year are stronger than they were in the previous monthly survey.

Fraser Sime, a director in Bank of Scotland’s commercial banking business, said: “Given the economic uncertainty the country’s businesses are facing, rising confidence in one month does not mean it’s plain sailing for anyone.

“But the fact that the underlying trend is positive suggests firms are slowly becoming more comfortable with uncertainty as the new normal.”