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

Regional growth in 2018 – what happened?

This blog presents research outputs from an Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence project.

ESCoE provides the Office for National Statistics with research that addresses the challenges of measuring the modern economy, as recommended by Professor Sir Charles Bean in his Independent Review of UK Economics Statistics.

This research was undertaken by Strathclyde researchers Gary Koop @gary_koop, Stuart McIntyre @stuartgmcintyre and Aubrey Poon, and Warwick Business School’s James Mitchell

The blog below was first posted here: https://www.escoe.ac.uk/regional-growth-in-2018-what-happened/  Continue reading

February 21, 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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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

Scottish Exports: Growth in 2017 but target missed

Today the Scottish Government published Export Statistics Scotland, the key source of information on Scottish exports.

In light of the ongoing Brexit uncertainty and the potential risks to Scottish trade patterns, today’s publication offers some interesting insights into the different markets that Scotland sells to, the sectors that are doing well (and those less so) and Scotland’s export performance over the longer-term.

Headline numbers

International exports from Scotland rose by £1.9 billion – or 6.2% – between 2016 and 2017. Note that this is in nominal terms; in real terms the growth was just 0.5%.

Boosted by the competitive value of the pound and strong growth on the continent in 2017 – where the Euro Area economy grew at its fastest rate since 2007 – the improvement in Scottish exports was driven by a £1.7bn increase in exports to the EU. This was equivalent to a 13.3% rise between 2016 and 2017.

Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK also increased in 2017, up £2.2 billion (4.6%).

The Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy had a target to grow Scottish international exports by 50% by 2017 (on a 2010 baseline). Despite today’s uplift, the figures confirm that this target has been missed, with international exports up by around 35% since 2010.Continue reading

January 30, 2019