Strong growth in Scots economy, but Brexit a threat

The latest State of the Economy paper published by Scotland’s Chief Economist, Dr Gary Gillespie, shows a strong first half of 2017.

It sets out the key trends in the Scottish economy in the first half of 2017 and the outlook for the coming year.

The report shows:

  • Economic performance has strengthened in 2017 with growth picking up over the first half of the year
  • The labour market has continued to perform strongly, with the employment rate close to its record high and unemployment rate close to its record low
  • The composition of the labour market shows full-time employment has risen by 55,000 over the past year, whilst part-time employment has fallen by 15,000
  • Sectors linked to the oil and gas supply chain have grown over the first half of the year as confidence gradually returns to the sector
  • Growth forecasts remain positive, projecting growth of around 1% in 2017 and 2018
  • Brexit remains the key risk to Scotland’s economy with on-going uncertainty risking business investment and the depreciation in Sterling already feeding through to higher inflation

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “It is encouraging to see further evidence that the foundations of Scotland’s economy remain strong, with positive forecasts on growth.

“However, growth is slower than we would like to see and the UK Government’s stance on Brexit continues to present a huge threat to jobs and prosperity in Scotland.

“We will continue to do all we can to support growth in our economy.”