Scots output lags UK, grows only 0.1%

Scotland’s economy continued to expand in the third quarter of last year — just — but lagged behind the growth rate of the UK, according to the latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures.

The Scottish Government said total output in the Scottish economy grew 0.1% for the period July to September 2015, or 1.7% compared to the same quarter of 2014.

By contrast, the figures for the UK economy were 0.4% and 2.1% respectively.

Backed by public sector investment, Scottish construction output grew by 17.3% over the year, with quarterly growth of 0.9%.

The Scottish services sector expanded by 0.7 % over the year – with quarterly growth of 0.3%.

While Scottish production output was flat over the year and down by 1% for the quarter, there was growth in the food and drink industry of 2.7 % over the quarter.

“Today’s figures show further growth in the Scottish economy during a period of significant challenge for our key export markets and in particular for the energy sector in Scotland given the impact of lower commodity prices,” said deputy First Minister John Swinney.

“It is encouraging that growth has remained positive given these strong economic headwinds and, in particular, that the service sector which accounts for around three quarters of the output of the economy has continued to grow by 0.3 per cent over the quarter.

“This, in part, has been driven by strong growth in the accommodation and food, and retail and wholesale subsectors.

“Expansion in the construction sector continues to show the benefits of the Scottish Government’s decision to invest in Scotland’s infrastructure, with key projects such as the Queensferry Crossing helping to underpin growth.

“The statistics, however, show that the Scottish economy, like that of the UK, is continuing to feel the effect of significant challenges such as a slowdown in global demand – a situation exacerbated by the continuing low price of oil and the effect this is having on the industry and its supply chain.”