But The Herald (p5) reports that the study describes as 'a serious weakness' the failure of many councils to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their spending in this field.
EKOS Ltd encountered 'some resistance' to the process of measuring performance which, it says, should be an integral component of economic development services.
While many councils had made significant efforts to improve systems, only 44% agreed that they had a strong monitoring and evaluation culture.
In 1998-99 councils in Scotland directly assisted well over 5,000 busniesses, more than 3,330 new jobs were created and more than 5,000 people were trained through council funding.
Relationships between councils and local enterprise companies were reported to be broadly positive and had improved since local government reorganisation in 1996. According to the report, this partly reflected greater appreciation by LECs of the role of councils in economic development.