BUSINESS confidence in Scotland has risen 11 points in April to 28%, despite increasing inflation and costs, according to a new report.

The Bank of Scotland report said companies cited higher confidence in their own prospects month-on-month, up 16 points at 34%.

Optimism over the economy was also up five points to 21%, giving a headline confidence reading of 28%.

However, certainty in retail and service was weaker than at the start of the year.

The overall picture comes as welcome news after projections showed confidence among leaders plunging in previous months.

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Fraser Sime, regional director for Scotland at Bank of Scotland commercial banking, said: “Rising levels of inflation coupled with growing cost pressures have hit businesses hard.

“But despite these headwinds, Scottish firms have shown tremendous resilience as business optimism rebounds in April.”

Paul Gordon, managing director for SME and mid corporates at Lloyds Bank, said: “The challenges that businesses are facing continue to grow.

“However, we can already draw positives from some of the changes at a regional and sector level in April, which demonstrate that businesses are not being universally impacted by the challenges faced.”