Today saw the publication of the Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers new business statistics for the first quarter 2012. I reported on the publication of the fourth quarter 2011 data back in March - here. This series records new business start-ups based in Scotland that have opened accounts with any of the four Scottish Clearing Banks. It is a valuable series because it should be expected that the creation of new firms would move in line with overall economic performance and GDP in particular.
The fourth quarter data, when smoothed by taking a four-quarter moving average to remove seasonal factors, showed no recovery at all. Numbers starting up were 44% below their pre-recession peak.
The latest data show some pick up - see chart below
But new firm formation on this measure is still more than 42% below the pre-recession peak of start-ups and 30% below the average number of start ups in the period from 2002 to the pre-recession peak.
The recovery of new firm formation in Scotland has still got a long way to go.