Consumer confidence in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level in more than a year and below the UK-wide figure, new research indicates.
The latest Deloitte Consumer Tracker found consumer confidence in Scotland returned a net balance of -9% in the third quarters of 2018, down four percentage points on the previous quarter.
This marks its lowest level since the second quarter of 2017 and is lower than the UK-wide figure of -7%.
For Scotland, five out of six measures of confidence fell compared to the previous quarter, with optimism only growing regarding job opportunities and career progression which rose four percentage points to -4% in this period.
The main drivers of the overall fall in consumer confidence were plunging levels of optimist regarding general health and wellbeing, which dropped 18 percentage points to -16%, and a 12 percentage point drop in confidence around household disposable income, which fell to -24%.
Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, said: “The reality of higher inflation and August’s interest rate rise has dented optimism about spending power.
“Meanwhile uncertainty and the manner in which the UK exits the EU in less than six months’ time is creating an additional headwind for consumers.
“The softening in consumer confidence has occurred against a backdrop of firmer UK activity and further falls in unemployment.
“That such consumer-friendly conditions have failed to boost confidence testifies to the headwinds from inflation, interest rate rises and Brexit.”
The latest survey in the quarterly series took place between September 21 and 29 and involved 3,105 consumers across the UK, 371 of whom were in Scotland.