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Scotland’s economic performance

Growth outlook remains positive.

The latest assessment of Scotland’s economic performance has been published in Chief Economist Dr Gary Gillespie’s State of the Economy report.

This report outlines recent developments in the global, UK and Scottish economies. The report is published ahead of Wednesday’s debate in the Scottish Parliament ‘Opportunities for Growth’.

It contains new analysis by the Scottish Government, drawing on a range of recently published statistics, to quantify the impact that London has on various UK economic statistics and compares Scotland’s performance to both the UK total and the UK excluding London.

The report highlights:

  • Independent economic growth forecasts remain positive, projecting growth of around 1% in 2017 and 2018
  • The oil and gas sector has continued to weigh on growth in 2016, though there are emerging signs of confidence returning to the sector
  • Scotland’s labour market has remained resilient with unemployment below the UK figure and falling over the past year
  • Scotland continues to be the most attractive part of the UK, outside London, for foreign direct investment (FDI) and has been for the past 5 years
  • Business sentiment has improved, particularly in the manufacturing sector, though Brexit continues to create substantial uncertainty
  • In the five years since 2010, Scotland’s GDP growth is in line with the UK average and Scotland’s GDP per head growth is above the UK average, when London is excluded.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:

“This report confirms that the foundations of Scotland’s economy remain strong.

“2016 was a record breaking year for foreign direct investment into Scotland. According to EY, for the second year in a row we have attracted more projects than ever before and Scotland has been the top UK region outside London in every one of the past five years.

“New analysis in the report reveals that in the five years since 2010, Scotland’s GDP growth is in line with the UK average and Scotland’s GDP per head growth is above the UK average, when London is excluded. This reflects the fact that London’s economy, with its concentration of corporate and financial activity, is distinct from all other parts of the UK and has a significant impact on UK performance indicators.

“That said, growth is slower than we would like to see and the UK Government’s stance on Brexit continues to present a huge threat to jobs and prosperity in Scotland.

“We will continue to do all we can to support growth."

Background

Read State of the Economy

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