Unprecedented challenges to come for the Scottish economy – and whilst economy will recover long-term structural challenges starting to emerge

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The coronavirus outbreak has already led to a sharp economic downturn in Scotland; one that will undoubtedly change the shape of our economy in the long-run, according to the Fraser of Allander Institute.

In its latest Economic Commentary, the Institute says the virus outbreak represents an ‘unprecedented shock’ to the global economy that will trigger a recession, but that the collective efforts of business and policymakers is to ensure that this is – as much as possible – a ‘v-shaped’ recession, with activity picking-up once the public health crisis passes.

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March 25, 2020

FAI Commentary: The outlook for the Scottish Budget 2020/21

This blog post contains the policy context chapter of our economic commentary, published today. The latest economic commentary can be found here.

Budget 2020/21 will be the fourth of five to be set in this parliament. Normally of course it would have been published by now – the Scottish Government initially planned to publish it on 12 December – and the process of scrutiny and debate on the proposals contained within it would have begun.

It was inevitable that the announcement of a UK General Election on 12 December resulted in the postponement of the Scottish budget. The outlook for the Scottish budget – and the viability and outcomes of tax and spending policies – is heavily dependent on UK Government policy decisions.

A Scottish budget published in advance of knowing the complexion of the UK Government would have had to be underpinned by a range of caveats and uncertainties, and could have been subject to substantial revision once the UK Government’s plans became known with greater certainty.

The fact that the General Election result last week was so decisive has in a blink lifted much of the uncertainty that it existed, at least in the short run (i.e. for 2020/21).Continue reading

December 17, 2019

Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary for Q4 2019 published today

General election provides moment of clarity amongst recent uncertainty – but debate over Scotland’s economic future likely to intensify in 2020

The Conservative majority means that the UK will leave the EU at the end of January 2020. But SNP gains in Scotland raise prospect of renewed debate on second independence referendum.

Read our latest economic commentary here.

The outcome of the UK General Election has resolved one element of uncertainty in the UK economic policy landscape – the UK will now leave the European Union on the 31st January.

However, any hope of a swift resolution to the recent period of uncertainty is likely to be dashed according to the latest Economic Commentary by the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, which is produced in partnership with Deloitte.

The nature of the UK’s future economic relationship with the EU has still to be resolved within just 12 months, whilst the divergence in election results between Scotland and the rest of the UK has fuelled calls in some quarters for a second independence referendum.Continue reading

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

Today we published our final Economic Commentary for 2019.

Here we summarise the key points.

  1. Tomorrow we will get new GDP data for Scotland – covering the 3 month period to September

Chart: Scottish growth since 2014 – year and quarter %

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The latest data suggests that the economy will have bounced back somewhat (and thereby avoid a technical recession) after a slip-back in Q2 – following the unwinding of stock-piles in the run-up to the first Brexit deadline.

It will be important therefore not to read too much into one quarterly set of results. Instead, focus should be on the longer-term. This is likely to show that growth for the year as a whole is expected to come in once again at around 1% – marking a further year of disappointing below-trend growth for the Scottish economy.Continue reading

Commentary perspectives – Highlights from service re-design in healthcare

This blog includes highlights and key points from the article Service re-design in healthcare: the impact of innovative methods to compare costs and benefits (Anderson et.al, 2019).

The article was written by Robyn Millar, Gillian H. Anderson (corresponding author) Robert Van Der Meer and Alec Morton – all at the Department of Management Science, University of Strathclyde Business School

In the face of growing cost pressures, policy makers are looking for cost effective ways to meet the increasing healthcare needs of the population and improve the service to patients[1].

The collaborative study between the University of Strathclyde, The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland seeks to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of an innovative ‘virtual’ patient pathway – and, more generally, supported capacity building in service redesign and improvement across the Scottish health service.

To the authors knowledge, this is the first time that discrete event simulation has been used in an action research approach to develop bottom-up micro costing models to evaluate the kind of virtual clinic approach that is rapidly gaining acceptance in NHS Scotland and beyond[2].Continue reading

November 6, 2019