Seven bullet points on the latest Fraser Commentary

Today we published our latest Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary.

This short blog summarises our key conclusions in seven bullet points.

  1. Growth in Scotland’s economy is forecast to continue through 2017, 2018 and into 2019. The outlook remains challenging by historical standards.

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Last week’s UK GDP Figures – what do they tell us about Brexit so far?

Last week, we obtained the first major official economic data on the performance of the UK economy since June’s EU referendum.

The figures surprised most economists. The consensus forecast was for growth of around 0.3%, or less than half that in the 2nd quarter of 2016 (+0.7%), but the figure came in at 0.5%.

With so much speculation about the impact of Brexit in recent months, what do the figures tell us about the health of the UK economy, its likely direction in the months ahead, and the implications for Scotland? Continue reading “Last week’s UK GDP Figures – what do they tell us about Brexit so far?”

Modelling the long-term impact of Brexit on the Scottish economy

The Fraser of Allander Institute was commissioned by the Scottish Parliament’s Europe Committee to provide a modelling assessment of the potential long-term impacts on the Scottish economy of Brexit.

Our modelling results are summarised here with the full report available at the following link.

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Brexit and the Fiscal Settlement

Jim Cuthbert is an independent statistician and economist and former Scottish Office Chief Statistician. Working often jointly with Margaret Cuthbert, he has published a number of influential articles on Scotland’s economy and public finances. Their research can be found here –

In his talk at the Fraser of Allander Scotland’s Budget 2016 Seminar on 13th September, the Institute’s Director Graeme Roy touched on an important point about the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the implications of Brexit for Scotland’s new fiscal framework signed as part of the Smith Commission. Since the point was not picked up in the discussion, it is worth expanding here. What will be argued here is that, while the CAP adjustment will indeed pose problems, it also offers an opportunity to re-open wider issues about the post-Smith fiscal settlement.

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Insight on August 2016 PMI measures

Paul Smith is Director and Senior Economist at IHSMarkit, where he helps to oversee the production of business survey data for over 30 countries. His research interests include nowcasting and the role that new sources of information (particularly so-called ‘big data’) can play in helping to understand current economic conditions.

Latest data from the Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) surveys indicated that the Scottish economy broadly underperformed the rest of the UK during August.

Coming in at a disappointing 49.1, fractionally down on July’s 49.2 and a five-month low, August’s Bank of Scotland PMI pointed to a second successive marginal contraction in private sector output (any reading below 50.0 points to monthly contraction).

The latest data maintains a trend seen throughout 2016 of an economy struggling to expand, and one continuing to lag wider UK economic output.

Indeed, the latter showed a remarkable degree of ‘bouncebackability’ in August following a partial unwinding of the immediate economic and political uncertainty created by the decision to leave the EU. The UK Composite PMI (covering the manufacturing and service sectors) moved up to a five-month peak of 53.6, a rise of over six points from July’s Brexit induced nadir of 47.5. July aside, the UK PMI has posted consistently above the equivalent Scottish index throughout the past three years.

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