Ben Cooper is a Knowledge Exchange Assistant working within the Fraser of Allander Institute whilst studying for his MSc on the Scottish Graduate Programme for Economics at the University of Edinburgh.
He joined the FAI in 2018 as an intern whilst studying for his BSc Hons in Economics, working on a research project that analysed the effects of the 2014 BAC reduction in Scotland.
His current research interests are in economic consultancy, economic policy, and also the economics at the nexus of health and crime.
The latest GDP data for Scotland shows that the Scottish economy continued to contract into December with a decline of 0.3%. The Scottish economy remains 7.2% below pre-pandemic levels; this compares to 6.3% in the UK economy.
As the national lockdown remains across Scotland and the UK, and we approach the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in Scotland, the story amongst the sectors of the economy continues to emerge.
Scotland, like the rest of the UK, remains under a national lockdown with over half of Scottish businesses with furloughed staff and a rise in businesses expecting to make staff redundant in the coming weeks.
At the end of last year we published our first ‘back to basics’ article on Scotland’s business base. This article is the second in our series and we will be discussing how investment in R&D has evolved the past few years, the challenges and opportunities for R&D in Scotland and the future of R&D.
In our last update back in November, the number of businesses trading and the outlook for business activity remained fairly stable. However, with restrictions tightening over the Christmas period, many businesses finished off 2020 with more uncertainty than hoped.