Scots economy outpaces UK in fourth quarter

The Scottish economy has shown growth for the eighth consecutive quarter.

Latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures show the Scottish economy grew 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018, higher than the UK rate of 0.2%.

Compared to the same period last year, it has grown by 1.3%.

Growth across the year has been driven by the services and construction sectors, which both grew by 1.7%.

Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “With eight consecutive quarters of growth and record low unemployment — down to 3.4%, the lowest in the UK — Scotland’s economy continues to go from strength to strength.

“Growing our economy and supporting businesses and jobs is a top priority for the Scottish Government.

“We have provided more than £5 billion of capital investment to grow and modernise Scotland’s infrastructure, and a wider package of support to businesses including maintaining a competitive business rates package and providing the most generous package of non-domestic rates reliefs anywhere in the UK.

“However, the UK’s EU exit remains the biggest threat to our economic stability.

“All forms of exit will cost jobs, make people poorer, damage our society and undermine the democratic decision of the people of Scotland to remain in the EU.

“The Scottish Government is firmly opposed to the UK’s EU exit and we continue to hope that it can be avoided, but with every passing day, the UK Government is getting closer to taking our economy off the cliff.

“Our first priority is staying in the EU, in line with the overwhelming vote in Scotland to remain, and we support another referendum on EU membership.

“Short of that, the least damaging option is to remain in the Customs Union and European Single Market of 500 million people – eight times larger than the UK market alone.”