FAI Economic Commentary: Tackling regional economic inequalities

Tackling regional economic disparities has been a priority of successive governments in both the UK and Scotland.

The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy is their latest attempt, with regional growth 1 of 5 ‘foundations of success’. Here in Scotland, ‘cohesion’ – or its new term ‘regional inclusive growth’ – has been a feature of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy since 2007.

It is hard to disagree that a country will be economically stronger if every region has the opportunity to fulfil its potential.

However, Scottish and UK policy history is littered with well-intentioned – but ultimately ill-fated – attempts to narrow the gap in economic performance between regions. Many of the challenges are deep-rooted and structural, whilst attempts to tackle them throw-up challenging trade-offs and political risks.

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September 26, 2018

Today’s Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary in 10 bullet points

Today we published our latest Economic Commentary.

Alongside our analysis of the Scottish, UK and global economies, we include the following articles:

Today’s Commentary also includes an examination of the hot topic of regional inclusive growth.

In this blog, we summarise some of the key points from our latest outlook.

FAI GDP and unemployment forecastsContinue reading

Economic Commentary: The medium-term fiscal outlook for the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government’s 2018/19 Budget is the 2nd of 5 budgets to be set this parliamentary term.

It contained allocations for 2018/19 only (the last time a Scottish Budget provided anything beyond single year allocations was 2014/15).

However, the government’s new Five Year Financial Strategy, published last month, provides a steer on how the pattern and distribution of Scottish resource spending (day-to-day public services) is likely to evolve over the next few years.

The Strategy contains forecasts of the Scottish budget for five years, based on forecasts for devolved tax revenues and the outlook for the block grant. It also sets out broad spending commitments.Continue reading

June 20, 2018

Today’s Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary in 10 bullet points

Today – in partnership with Deloitte – we published our latest Economic Commentary.

Alongside our analysis of the Scottish, UK and global economies, we include the following articles:

  • Could a reduction in alcohol consumption be good news for the UK economy? – Kevin Connolly, Katerina Lisenkova and Peter G. McGregor, FAI.
  • Performance of high growth firms in Scotland – Jennifer Turnbull and Kenny Richmond, Scottish Enterprise.
  • The output gap: what is it, how can it be estimated and are they fit for policy makers’ purposes? – Julia Darby and Stuart McIntyre, University of Strathclyde.

Today’s Commentary also includes an examination of the Scottish Government’s new Five Year Financial Strategy – which will be the subject of a blog later on today.

In this blog, we summarise some of the key points from our latest outlook.

01 Forecasts infographicsContinue reading

Optimism returning to the North Sea

The price of a barrel of oil has been rising steadily in recent months.

Whilst prices have slipped back a little – in the light of OPEC’s apparent plan to relax their recent self-imposed constraints on supply – oil prices continue to hover close to their highest level in three years.

The recent increase has helped to provide a boost for contractors and operators in the North Sea.

You may have missed it over the last few days following the publication of a couple of other economic reports, but late last month we published the latest set of results in our joint survey with Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce – sponsored by KPMG – which showed further signs of returning optimism in the sector.

In this blog, we discuss some of the key results and their potential implications for the wider Scottish economy and the growth outlook for 2018.Continue reading

June 6, 2018