Economy improves

Scotland’s onshore GDP shows further pick up

Tracy Black
Tracy Black: road to recovery (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Scotland’s onshore GDP continued to pick up pace by growing 0.4% in March, following 0.1% expansion in February, according to provisional figures from the chief statistician.

In the first three months GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.7% compared to the previous three month period.

In March, output in the important services sector, which accounts for around three-quarters of the economy, grew by 0.7%. Hotels and catering services were among the best performing sub-sectors in the data.

Wholesale and motor trades, as well as health and social work sectors also grew. However, output in the production sector is estimated to have contracted by 1.1% in March.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes welcomed the return to growth, despite the challenging global economic conditions.

“The Scottish Fiscal Commission and Fraser of Allander Institute have projected overall growth of 0.6% and 0.7% respectively in 2024, rising to 1.1% next year.

“The Scottish Government is investing over £5 billion through its 2024-25 budget to drive an economy that is fair, green and growing.”

Tracy Black, CBI Devolved Nations Ambassador, said: “The latest GDP figures show that Scotland, like the rest of the UK, is now on the road to recovery.

“With falling inflation boosting households’ spending power, as well as opening the way for a reduction in interest rates in the months ahead, the economy should be able to sustain some momentum through the year.  

“But a consumer-led recovery could prove short-lived without more determined action to tackle the long-standing problem of weak productivity growth, which ultimately sets Scotland’s economic speed limit. 

“Firms will be looking for the Scottish Government to work closely with whichever party wins the general election, to support investment and cut costs which, includes extending full expensing to leased and rented assets, and a business tax roadmap.

“This will give firms the certainty and confidence they need to plan and invest in a vibrant Scottish economy.” 

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