Scottish economy grows faster than original estimates

Written by Emily Woods on 8 August 2019 in News

Scotland’s finance secretary warned a no deal Brexit could reverse this trend

Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay warns economic growth "all at risk from Brexit" - Image credit: David Anderson/Holyrood

Scotland’s economy is expanding faster than the rest of the UK, after the chief statistician’s revised figures for the beginning of 2019 revealed higher growth than first estimated.

In the first three months of this year Scotland’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.6 per cent, up by 0.1 per cent from the original estimate published in June, while the UK economy grew overall by 0.5 per cent, the new statistics revealed.

When compared with the same quarter last year, Scotland’s GDP has grown by 1.5 per cent, revised up from 1.4 per cent, while equivalent UK growth was 1.8 per cent.

Manufacturing was tipped as the main driver, as the sector grew by 2.3 per cent, followed by strong performances in pharmaceuticals and drink industries.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay said that while it was good news Scotland’s economy was growing, it was “all at risk from Brexit”.

“The months and years ahead are crucial as we continue to invest in and grow the economy. However, the UK Government’s EU exit plans, and in particular a ‘no deal’ Brexit, risks damaging our economy and the future prospects of the people of Scotland,” Mackay said.

“As a responsible government we are continuing to plan and prepare for all EU exit possibilities, but we know that we will not be able to mitigate all of the impacts.”

He said the Scottish Government had policies in place to support households and businesses, but: “the best option for the future wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland is to stay in the European Union.”

Scotland is also ahead of the UK in lowering unemployment – last month figures showed unemployment had dropped 0.5 per cent lower than the UK, with 7,000 more Scots employed since February 2019.

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