GDP and population growth

Earlier today new GDP data were released for Scotland. These showed growth in 2019 Q1 of 0.5%, the same as the UK over the same period.

Much is always made about short-term fluctuations in GDP growth, but as we try to emphasise, much more important is the longer term growth experience.

In this blog we look at trends in the longer term – for this purpose 10 year – growth performance of the UK and Scottish economies, and the important role than population change plays in overall growth.

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June 19, 2019

Spring Statement 2019: route-map to an unlikely destination?

Shorn of major policy announcements, the Spring Statement is an opportunity for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to update its economic and fiscal forecasts, and for the Chancellor to announce policy reviews on everything from minimum wages to biodiversity.

So how have the forecasts changed since October 2018?Continue reading

March 13, 2019

The final countdown: insights from Scottish businesses as the UK heads towards Brexit

With only 3 weeks to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, Scottish Businesses still don’t have any certainty over the terms of the exit, and crucially, if there will be any sort of transition to future arrangements.

Ahead of a series of votes in the House of Commons next week, we’ve been asking businesses in Scotland about Brexit and their preparations for it. We asked firms from across the country, and from a variety of different sectors.

The focus was not on whether businesses believe Brexit to be good or bad, but instead, how Brexit is affecting different areas of their day-to-day activities such as investment and recruitment. Also, we were interested to find out to what extent firms have embarked upon any plans in preparation for Brexit: specifically whether they are prepared for a no deal Brexit.

This blog summarises the results of our survey.

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March 7, 2019

Will a ‘no deal’ Brexit wipe £11bn off Scotland’s economy in under a year?

Today the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist published analysis of the potential impact of a ‘no deal’ outcome on Scotland’s economy.

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One scenario presented projects that our economy could shrink by up to 7% (equivalent to around £11bn being wiped from our economy) in less than a year.

We’ve been asked by a number of people for our take, so we thought that it would be helpful to provide a quick summary here.

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February 21, 2019

Brexit uncertainty and the Scottish economy: Is winter coming?

Last week the Governor of the Bank of England warned that Brexit has created a “high level of uncertainty” and “companies are holding back on making big decisions”.

Earlier this month, the Bank cut its growth forecast to just 1.2% for 2019. If this turns out to be correct, this will be the slowest year of growth since the financial crisis.

Not all of this is down to Brexit.

Some of the revision reflects a weaker global economic outlook – with data out last week showing that Germany has just avoided entering recession by the narrowest of margins.

With the data pointing to a lowing UK economy, what is the latest data telling us about how well the Scottish economy is holding up?Continue reading

February 18, 2019