The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Scotland’s economy continues to grow during global downturn

NEW GDP figures show that Scotland’s economy continued to grow in the second quarter of 2008 (April to June 2008).

Statistics show that Scottish GDP rose by 0.1 per cent over the quarter and by 1.8 per cent over the year.

In comparison, UK GDP remained flat at 0.0 per cent over the quarter and grew by 2.5 per cent over the year.

Commenting, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney (pictured above) said: “These figures show that Scotland’s economy, during huge global uncertainty earlier this year, was still growing, and at a marginally greater rate than the UK.

“But growth is clearly slowing, which is concerning, and undoubtedly reflects the impact of the global downturn on Scotland’s real economy.

“Economic events around the world have moved on considerably since the period of these statistics. Although we have areas of real strengths - like a strong, skilled labour market and vibrant energy and engineering sectors - we now need urgent measures to get the economy moving.

“The Scottish Government is doing all it can. Within our fixed budget we have already announced accelerated investment in affordable housing, and the Cabinet have identified a six-point programme to help business and hard pressed households.

“But these figures back our call for a significant programme of reflation from the UK Government to boost the wider economy, as they control the key economic levers that can make a real difference.

“We want to see further and deep cuts in interest rates and lower tax on energy bills over this winter. And in difficult times we need flexibility - that’s why the Treasury needs to relax its inflexible accounting rules so that we can access our unused money in UK bank accounts, such as the Fossil Fuel Levy and our own underspend, for investment in economic activity in Scotland now.”

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