Saturday, 26 April 2014
Scotland’s recovery consolidating
Economic growth set to accelerate in 2014
Scotland’s recovery is set to consolidate further in 2014 following the fastest year of economic growth since before the recession in 2007, with the pace of expansion expected to accelerate this year.
[Pictured: Cabinet Secretary for Finance
and Sustainable Growth John Swinney.]
The Scottish Government’s Chief Economist published the State of the Economy report today. Dr Gary Gillespie’s report highlights:
• Scotland’s economy grew 1.6 per cent during 2013, the first calendar year since 2007 with four quarters of growth. Economic output remains on track to surpass its pre-recession peak during the first half of 2014.
• Most survey evidence points to growing confidence across the majority of sectors in Scotland, and the outlook in key trading partners has improved over the last year.
• The improving picture has been most strongly evident in the aggregate labour market indicators, with employment rising over the year and unemployment falling. Employment is now back above pre-recession levels and at its highest level on record in Scotland.
• However, it is important to put these trends in context. Scotland entered recession over 5 years ago (22 quarters) and the effects of the crisis will continue to have an impact for some time to come.
• Nevertheless, with the economy recording its fastest year of growth in five years in 2013 and forecasters expecting the pace to accelerate further in 2014, future prospects for the economy remain optimistic.
Commenting on the report, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said: “I welcome the Chief Economist’s report, which shows that economic recovery is progressing and consolidating and that is set to continue throughout 2014 – good news for business and good news for hard working people across the country.
“This latest snapshot presents a picture of strengthening recovery and growing optimism highlighted in recent survey data.
“We have turned a corner but significant challenges still remain as businesses continue to respond to changing market conditions and a challenging external environment, particularly in our key export market of Europe.
“This report also highlights the need to ensure a broad based recovery and the potential for increased business investment and productivity growth to help the economy recover further.
“I particularly welcome the outlook for the labour market, reflecting the strong performance over the last year. Whilst we continue to look at what more can be done to boost employment our policy of investing in infrastructure to boost the economy and our focus on tackling youth unemployment has delivered employment levels at a record high.”
The latest State of the Economy report is available CLICK HERE.