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FAI Economic Commentary, 2021 Q2

The recent opening of the Scottish economy enabled by the swift vaccine rollout, has led to expectations for Scotland’s economic growth being revised up to 5.9% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2022, according to the latest Economic Commentary by the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde.

In the Deloitte sponsored Economic Commentary, the Fraser of Allander Institute now forecasts that the economy will reach its pre-pandemic peak in the summer of 2022, three months earlier than was forecast in March.

While recent pauses in the roadmap to ease restrictions have been challenging, particularly for those sectors and regions hardest hit by the pandemic, the Scottish economy has seen significant opening up since late April. This has been facilitated by the vaccine deployment, which has seen 82% of the adult population receive their first dose.

Despite the optimism, there are also risks to recovery which could provide headwinds to growth. The dislocation in global trade was significant due to the pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU. This has led to major issues for manufacturers and others trying to rebuild these supply chains.

While the economy faces significant changes as it moves through to the recovery phase, the way people work has also changed, particularly for those who have been able to work from home during the pandemic.

As some businesses begin to consider a part-time return to the office, alongside homeworking practices, it remains to be seen how persistent these changes will be. This edition of the Commentary continues the discussion about the future of work, examining the sectoral differences of both prevalence and possible persistence of new ways of working.

This quarter’s commentary also includes:

  • Analysis of Real Time Indicators, giving the most up to date snapshot of the Scottish economy;
  • A summary of our recent research on Levelling Up prioritisation for Scottish regions; and,
  • Discussion of how the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of the Brexit transition period has impacted global, UK and Scottish trade so far in 2021.

Alongside three additional articles:

  1. Perspective 1 – “International Student Applications in the United Kingdom after Brexit” Agnese Romiti, University of Strathclyde
  2. Perspective 2 – “Divergent Integration” Jan I. Haaland, Norwegian School of Economics & Ian Wooton University of Strathclyde
  3. Perspective 3 – “Looking back on the 2021 Scottish Election” – A collection & summary of the policy briefings the Fraser of Allander produced throughout the campaign – Edited by Mark Mitchell, Fraser of Allander Institute


The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) is a leading economy research institute based in the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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Founded in 1975, the Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary is the leading publication on the Scottish economy and offers an authoritative and independent analysis of the key issues of the day.