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

The economic policy landscape in Scotland

2018 promises to be an important year for the Scottish economy.

As the analysis in the latest Fraser Economic Commentary highlights, whilst the Scottish economy retains long-term strengths, early indications are that 2018 will be another challenging year.

Clearly Brexit remains the greatest headwind the Scottish economy faces.
We have argued on a number of occasions that the decision to leave the EU will damage Scotland’s long-term growth prospects.

Progress has been made with regard to the transition period the UK and the EU will operate within up to December 2020. But whilst this creates space for further discussion, most of the major economic issues with respect to the UK’s relationship with the EU post-Brexit remain unanswered.

In 2018 businesses will look for much greater evidence that the UK Government has a clear vision for life outside the EU that not only satisfies business but can also secure the necessary parliamentary support.

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March 28, 2018

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


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

Alongside the usual analysis of the Scottish economy there are some interesting articles from:

Here we summarise some of the key conclusions from our outlook section.

FAI Scottish Economic Forecasts - March 2018

Continue reading