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State of the Economy report

Economy grows slower but remains ‘resilient’

Keith Brown 2Scotland’s economy grew by 1.9% last year and is expected to continue growing this year and next, according to government data.

The rate is below that of the UK as a whole – 2.2% – and well short of the 2.7% growth achieve in 2014, indicating the impact of the oil price slump and global market pressures.

Highlights of the latest State of the Economy Report from Scotland’s Chief Economist Dr Gary Gillespie include:

  • Annual growth of 1.9% in 2015 with independent forecasters predicting continued growth through 2016 and 2017.
  • The labour market remaining resilient, although the most recent data show employment has fallen back from the record level achieved in 2015.
  • Subdued export markets, alongside domestic challenges associated with the Oil and Gas sector, continuing to be a factor in 2016, though there is the potential for growth as impacted areas rebalance and create new opportunities.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown (pictured), said the report “shows that Scotland’s economy continued to be resilient in the face of extremely challenging global headwinds”.

He addf: “The challenges facing the economy look set to persist through 2016. However, the fundamentals of the Scottish economy are strong with high levels of employment and rising productivity.

“We have to be conscious of the challenges we face, and conscientious in facing up to them – but we also have to be aware of our strengths and successes if we are to be able to build on them.

“There are opportunities as Scotland also continues to be a very attractive location for business growth and inward investment. Just last week, the Ernst and Young Attractiveness Survey which ranked Scotland as the top region outside London for FDI in 2015, creating over 5,300 jobs.

“With such strong foundations in place, the Scottish Government will continue to work with businesses to focus on growing the economy and promoting Scotland as a great place to do business.”

The report was published on the same day as the latest quarterly review from Scottish Engineering, the trade body for manufacturers, which said industry was “stagnating”.



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