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Fourth quarter Scottish GDP lags UK growth

Pure li-fiScottish GDP lagged the UK as a whole in the fourth quarter of 2015, Growth of 0.2% was slower than for the UK which grew by 0.6%.

On an annual basis, compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, Scottish GDP grew by 0.9% against 2.1% for the UK.

The services sector, which accounts for nearly three quarters of the economy, grew by 0.3% during the latest period.

The production sector contracted by 0.1%. Construction output expanded by 0.1%.

There was a contraction in retail and wholesale of 0.5%.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Retail sales in Scotland have consistently been at a low ebb over recent years, with retailers having to work ever harder to maintain let alone grow sales at a time of profound structural, economic and regulatory change for the industry.

“Retailers are responding positively to these changes and becoming more productive by investing in new technology, a higher skilled workforce and revamped logistics capabilities. However that is all the more challenging when retail sales are weak, shop prices are falling and government-imposed tax and regulatory costs are mushrooming.

“It’s why all of Scotland’s political parties should commit in their election manifestos to an ambitious review early in the next Holyrood Parliament which delivers a reformed and more competitive business rates system, and to developing with the industry a joint strategy which supports and nurtures the growth of the retail sector over the decade ahead.

“With half of VAT receipts set to be assigned to the Scottish Parliament our politicians at Holyrood have a direct stake in facilitating a flourishing retail industry.”

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