SCC Comment on Scotland's GDP Q4 2017
Scotland’s GDP figures for the fourth quarter of 2017 were posted today. The data shows that Scotland’s GDP grew by 0.3%, demonstrating that Scotland’s economy has grown in every quarter of 2017.
Despite this encouraging news, Scotland’s growth is still somewhat behind the UK as a whole. Annual growth in the UK is 1.4%, compared to 1.1% for Scotland; and despite a pick-up in growth relative to 2016, calendar year growth is also significantly behind the UK (0.8% for Scotland compared to 1.8% for the UK in 2017). Construction continues to experience the contraction observed in previous quarters, with output decreasing by 2.6%. This was balanced by growth in the Production and Services industries.
Commenting on the growth figures, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive and Director at Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“Whilst it is positive to see that Scotland’s economy as a whole has experienced uninterrupted growth throughout the course of 2017, it should be noted that these growth levels remain below historical averages.
“Although Scotland was able to outpace overall UK growth in the first quarter of this year, this trend has not continued, and Scotland’s annual growth still sits behind the UK’s rate as a whole.
“Positive changes to the business environment will act as an important enabler to enhance growth for the rest of the year, such as the continuing reform of the business rates system in Scotland, the first wave of which came into effect this April.
“Our economic data continues to show that recruitment difficulties remain top of mind for Scotland’s businesses. Making sure that Scotland continues to attract and develop the talent required to power the growth of businesses across the country is a priority for SCC, and working in collaboration with Scottish and UK Governments will be key to achieve appropriate solutions.”