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Labour echoes Chamber comments

Exports target ‘to be missed by four years’

Port of Grangemouth

The Scottish government is set to miss its target to grow international exports by four years, says Scottish Labour.

In 2011 ministers established a target to deliver a 50% increase in international exports by 2017.

But export figures published last week found that, after five years, the value of those exports has risen by just 21%.

Labour’s analysis echoes research by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce last week which also noted a 9.6% fall in international exports by small business between 2014 and 2015.

Labour said that if international exports rise by the average year-on-year increase since 2010 – 3.97% per year – the SNP will not meet the target until 2021.

To meet the target on time in the two years that remain, exports will need to increase by 23.5%, says Labour, with the uncertainty of Brexit and a second independence referendum hanging over the economy.

Labour economy spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: SNP ministers love a good target – but they seem incapable of hitting them.”

> Private sector growth eased in the three months to January, according to the CBI’s latest Growth Indicator, the first of 2017.

Retailers reported decent growth over the previous three months, and output remained robust among manufacturers, albeit at a slighter slower pace. Service sector volumes were unchanged.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, said:Resilience has been the hallmark of the UK economy since the EU Referendum.

“But higher inflation is on the way, which will erode consumer incomes, while the impact of uncertainty since the referendum may cause investment spending to slow this year.

“While businesses are committed to making a success of Brexit, making progress on improving the UK’s productivity remains the number one priority.

“By working in partnership with the Government, business is keen to play its part in ensuring prosperity can be shared more equally right across the UK.”



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