29 April 2020

Statistics published today have revealed that, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Scotland’s economy was struggling to keep pace with the growth rate of the UK economy.

Crucially, Scotland’s GDP grew at half the rate of the UK’s in 2019, highlighting the fragility of Scotland’s underperforming economy.

The Scottish Government’s own statistics show:

Scotland’s GDP is estimated to have grown by only 0.2 per cent in real terms during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Compared to the same quarter last year, Scotland’s GDP has grown by 0.6 per cent, revised down from the first estimate of 0.7 per cent. The Equivalent UK growth over the year was 1.1 per cent.

For 2019, Scotland’s annual GDP growth is 0.7 per cent compared to 2018, revised down from the first estimate of 0.8 per cent. Equivalent annual UK growth was 1.4 per cent.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard said:

“The coronavirus pandemic poses an existential threat to the Scottish economy, but what these figures reveal is that long before the threat of the pandemic was known Scotland’s fragile economy was falling behind the modest growth rate of the UK economy.

“Not only is Scotland’s economy lagging behind that of the wider UK, but Scotland’s GDP grew at half the rate of the UK’s in 2019.

“If we are to ensure that the Scottish economy is robust enough to weather the storm of coronavirus it is of the upmost importance that the Scottish Government, businesses and trade unions work together to develop a plan to re-build and reform our economy.

“This pandemic will one day pass, but if we are to have a functioning economy with which to re-build, we must take decisive action.”

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