Spring Statement 2019: route-map to an unlikely destination?

Shorn of major policy announcements, the Spring Statement is an opportunity for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to update its economic and fiscal forecasts, and for the Chancellor to announce policy reviews on everything from minimum wages to biodiversity.

So how have the forecasts changed since October 2018?Continue reading

March 13, 2019

Nowcasts of the Scottish economy

Grant Allan & Stuart McIntyre
http://www.nowcastingscotland.com 
Fraser of Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde


Economic forecasting and nowcasting is notoriously difficult – even more so in a period of heightened economic uncertainty.

With the 29th March looming large on the calendar, economic uncertainty at present is extraordinarily high.

With this in mind, we report the latest results from our nowcasting model for Scotland.

  • Our nowcast for GVA growth in 2018 Q4 is 0.29% which, at an annual rate, is 1.16%
  • Our nowcast for GVA growth in 2019 Q1 is 0.31% which, at an annual rate, is 1.24%

Continue reading

March 11, 2019

The final countdown: insights from Scottish businesses as the UK heads towards Brexit

With only 3 weeks to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, Scottish Businesses still don’t have any certainty over the terms of the exit, and crucially, if there will be any sort of transition to future arrangements.

Ahead of a series of votes in the House of Commons next week, we’ve been asking businesses in Scotland about Brexit and their preparations for it. We asked firms from across the country, and from a variety of different sectors.

The focus was not on whether businesses believe Brexit to be good or bad, but instead, how Brexit is affecting different areas of their day-to-day activities such as investment and recruitment. Also, we were interested to find out to what extent firms have embarked upon any plans in preparation for Brexit: specifically whether they are prepared for a no deal Brexit.

This blog summarises the results of our survey.

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March 7, 2019

The emerging outlook for Scottish income tax revenues

How have Scotland’s revenues from income tax been performing since income tax powers were transferred to the Scottish Parliament in April 2017?

This is clearly an important question to ask. The Scottish budget in any year is determined in part by the rate of growth of Scottish income tax revenues per capita since 2016/17 compared to the growth of equivalent income tax revenues per capita in the rest of the UK (rUK).

We are nearly at the end of the second year of Scottish income tax devolution. But official income tax revenue outturn figures for 2017/18 will not be published until this summer, whilst outturn figures for 2018/19 will not be available until summer 2020.

Whilst income tax revenue data is not yet available, HMRC has published some information on the number of taxpayers who pay tax through Pay as you Earn (PAYE), and the average income of those PAYE income taxpayers, in 2017/18 and the first two quarters of 2018/19.Continue reading

February 26, 2019

Regional growth in 2018 – what happened?

This blog presents research outputs from an Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence project.

ESCoE provides the Office for National Statistics with research that addresses the challenges of measuring the modern economy, as recommended by Professor Sir Charles Bean in his Independent Review of UK Economics Statistics.

This research was undertaken by Strathclyde researchers Gary Koop @gary_koop, Stuart McIntyre @stuartgmcintyre and Aubrey Poon, and Warwick Business School’s James Mitchell

The blog below was first posted here: https://www.escoe.ac.uk/regional-growth-in-2018-what-happened/  Continue reading

February 21, 2019