Output stumbles

Construction shines as Omicron dents GDP data

Construction grew while other sectors shrank (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland’s onshore GDP is estimated to have fallen by 0.4% in December when Omicron took hold. Output remains above the pre-pandemic level of February 2020 by 0.1%.

GDP in quarter 4 (October to December) is provisionally estimated to have grown by 1.3% compared to quarter 3.

Annual GDP is provisionally estimated to have grown by 7% in 2021, following the contraction of 10% in 2020.

Output in the services sector, which accounts for around three quarters of the economy, was flat in December. In the production sector, which accounts for around 16% of the economy, it fell by 3.3% in December.

There was a contraction of 3.4% in manufacturing, while output in the construction sector, which accounts for around 6% of the economy is estimated to have grown by 1.9% in December.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “The emergence of Omicron at the end of last year meant that December was a difficult time for many, which is reflected in these figures.

“However, the resilience and ingenuity of our business community has lessened the impact, and it is encouraging to see sectors such as construction continue to grow.”

Since the start of the pandemic, businesses have benefited from more than £4.4 billion of government support.

This includes COVID-19 non-domestic rates reliefs which have saved businesses around £1.6 billion in reduced rates bills since 1 April 2020, said Ms Forbes.

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