Scotland’s manufacturing exports lagging
Pressure continued to mount on the Scottish economy as new figures revealed a slump in exports.
The volume of manufactured export sales fell by 0.5% during the first quarter and show a fall of 2.1% on an annualised basis.
Retail sales fared better, though they were almost static, increasing by just 0.2% in the first quarter of 2016 and grew by 3.2% annually.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse said: “These statistics remind us that Scotland’s economy continues to face substantial challenges.
“Subdued global demand and the impact of a lower oil price environment have contributed to a drop in first quarter export volumes for companies working in several parts of the Scottish economy.
“However, more encouragingly, the figures also point to growth in other areas of the economy, including a 3.3% increase in food and drink exports, which make up more than a third of Scotland’s manufactured overseas exports, and in exports by textiles, clothing and leather goods manufacturers, which increased by 2.1%.
“While Scotland’s economy is fundamentally strong, our continued EU status – and, thereby, our place in the world’s biggest single market – is absolutely vital when it comes to promoting trade and protecting jobs, investment and long-term-prosperity; and this is why we are committed to pursuing every possible avenue to maintain our place in the EU.
“Trade and business continues as normal and we are determined that Scotland will continue to be an attractive and a stable place to do business and, with this in mind, our enterprise agencies work, day in day out, to support businesses to compete and, ideally, lead in both domestic and export markets.”