Scots GDP up 4.9% in Q2 as June rises 0.9%

Scotland’s onshore gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.9% in June, according to statistics announced on Wednesday by the Chief Statistician.

“Using the experimental monthly statistics for Quarter 2 as a whole (April to June), GDP is provisionally estimated to have grown by 4.9%, reflecting a recovery in output after the fall of 1.8% during the lockdown restrictions in Quarter 1,” said the Scottish Government.

Output remains 2.1% below the pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

Services sector output grew by 1.2% in June, with increases in seven of the 14 subsectors.

The largest contribution to growth in June was from accommodation and food services for the third month in a row as activity continued to pick up after the easing of restrictions.

Output in the production sector increased by 0.5% in June overall, with growth in the electricity and gas supply subsector offset by falls in manufacturing and water and waste management.

Output in the construction sector is estimated to have fallen in June by 1.4%, broadly in line with the UK as a whole over the course of the latest quarter.

Kevin Brown, savings specialist at Scottish Friendly, said: “The Scottish economy grew by 0.9% in June which is the fifth consecutive monthly increase.

“The rise means that GDP is gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels but for the time being still remains 2.1% lower.

“Over the whole of the second quarter, GDP grew by 4.9% as many parts of the economy reopened.

“Accommodation and food services have contributed most to the recent growth with businesses benefitting from the easing of restrictions and returning consumer confidence.

“Economic output in Scotland has largely been tracking the UK trend and it will be interesting to see if this continues in the coming months.

“The Scottish and UK governments will both be hoping for a sustainable recovery and for GDP to return to pre-pandemic levels.

“The huge increases in public spending during the pandemic mean that Scotland’s budget deficit has ballooned during the past year and the time will come when they need to recover some of that debt.

“How they will do this is not yet clear, but without a magic money tree it will likely be taxpayers who will have to conjure up extra cash.”