Scots GDP survives Beast from East to outpace UK

Latest data published on Wednesday shows Scotland’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.2% in the first quarter of the year compared to 0.1% growth for the UK as a whole.

The Scottish services sector expanded by 0.4%, with a pick-up in growth in transport, information and communication services, and professional, scientific, administrative and support services.

The Scottish production sector continued its positive growth into 2018, achieving quarterly growth of 0.9% in Q1 2018, the same rate as in Q4 2017.

Construction output fell in the first quarter, due in part to the adverse weather seen during February and March during the “Beast from the East.”

Finance, Economy and Fair Work Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Scotland’s economy is strong, with output per head the highest in the UK outside London and the south-east.

“We are also one of the top destinations for inward investment, while Scottish productivity has grown faster than the UK’s over the past decade.

“Despite the impact of the ‘Beast from the East’ our economy continued to grow in the first quarter of 2018 making this the fifth consecutive quarter of growth.

“We are seeing growth in a number of sectors from services to scientific, and production to professional services.

“It is also encouraging to see last year’s pick up in the production industries, linked to improved sentiment in the oil and gas sector, continue into the start of this year.

“We are supporting the economy with the most competitive business rates package in the UK, increased investment in enterprise and skills and the delivery of the National Manufacturing Institute and Scottish National Investment Bank.

“Our prospects for longer-term growth are threatened by Brexit and the prospect of being taken out of a market around eight times bigger than the UK’s market alone.

“That is what poses the most serious risk to jobs, investment, prosperity and living standards.”