Scottish economy outstrips the rest of UK’s

20 Sep 18

Scotland’s economy outstripped that of the rest of the UK by growing 0.5% in the second quarter of 2018, buoyed by output from the retail and wholesale sectors, according to the latest statistics.

Figures from the chief statistician, released yesterday, showed that GDP growth north of the border in Q2 exceeded the 0.4% growth rate recorded for the UK as a whole.

Compared to the same period last year, Scottish GDP increased by 1.7%, surpassing the equivalent UK figure of 1.3%.

In the first six months of the year, growth stood at 0.8%, ahead of the 0.7% prediction made for the year as a whole by the Scottish Fiscal Commission, which this month reiterated its “subdued” outlook for the Scottish economy.

Steady growth in the output of services was the main driver of GDP growth, with the construction and production sectors also showing positive growth, although there was a decline in agriculture, forestry and fishing.

The figures do not include output from offshore oil and gas extraction.

The Scottish Government said the statistics were a sign that the Scottish economy was moving in the right direction.

“These [figures] show that Scottish growth is both pulling ahead of the UK, and outperforming the official growth forecast,” said Derek Mackay, cabinet secretary for finance, economy and fair work.

“The Scottish Government is focused on building on the country’s strong economic foundations, supporting businesses to stimulate growth jobs and investment.

“Our Programme for Government includes an ambitious package of measures to ensure we are delivering for the economy of today and ready to seize the opportunities of the future.”

But the secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell warned against complacency.

“Scotland’s economic performance is still struggling to close the gap with the UK economy, which has opened up over recent years,” he said.

“I urge the Scottish Government to focus on growing Scotland's economy.”

This is the first quarter for which a first and second estimate of Scotland’s GDP will be published, with the second estimate due to be issued in the Quarterly National Accounts Scotland at the end of October.

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