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Uses of Scottish economic statistics

A. Background

In response to the UK Statistics Authority's Assessments of Compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics of the Scottish Macro-Economic Statistics and Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland, the Scottish Government will publish relevant information about the uses made of these statistics. This information will help statisticians to improve the quality of these products and to prioritise scarce resources which will be reflected in future Scottish Economic and Labour Market Statistics Plans.

In order to establish a relevant user base, the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser will keep an up to date inventory of the uses made of these statistical outputs. This will include uses made both within and outside Government. As this information will compiled from the uses that have been brought to our attention or provided by users on a voluntary basis, the list cannot be exhaustive. Nevertheless, it will be indicative of the uses made and will provide users with an opportunity to share with the Scottish Government their views on the presentation of these statistics and their experiences of the statistical service, the data quality, and the format and timings of reports etc.

Contributions to this Inventory are very welcome. Please provide any comments on the uses you have made of these statistics and any suggestions for their improvement to sandy.stewart@scotland.gsi.gov.uk .

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B. NATIONAL AND OFFICIAL STATISTICS

Reflecting users needs is a requirement for designation of these products as National and Official Statistics.

Requirements under the Code of Practice for Official Statistics

Principle 1: Meeting user needs states that "The production, management and dissemination of official statistics should meet the requirements of informed decision-making by government, public services, business, researchers and the public". In particular, Practice 2 provides an instruction to "Investigate and document the needs of users of official statistics, the use made of existing statistics and the types of decision they inform".

The two Assessment Reports identified a few specific requirements:

Scottish Macro-Economic Statistics

Requirement 1: Publish relevant information and assumptions about the uses that are made of the Global Connections Survey and use them to support the use of these statistics.

Requirement 7: Provide commentary and analysis that aid interpretation; and provide factual information about the policy and wider context of these statistics.

Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland

Requirement 1: (a) Consult users about their views on the presentation of GERS and the associated commentary; and their experiences of the statistical service, the data quality, and the format and timing of reports; and (b) publish the findings in order to improve the use made of these statistics and the decisions they inform.

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C. SUMMARY OF MAIN USES MADE OF SCOTTISH MACRO-ECONOMIC STATISTICS

The following summarises the main uses made of Scottish macro-economic statistics. Examples of how these statistics feature in research documents and news statements can be found in Annex A.

QUARTERLY GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) FOR SCOTLAND

The main uses made of this publication are:

  • To provide an up to date assessment of the state of the Scottish economy, with an industrial breakdown and comparisons with the UK
  • To provide an update for the Scotland Performs Purpose Target on Economic Growth

INPUT-OUTPUT TABLES AND MULTIPLIERS FOR SCOTLAND

The main uses made of this publication are:

  • To provide a consistent set Supply Use tables for the onshore Scottish economy
  • To balance output, income and expenditure estimates of GDP
  • To provide a framework for modelling Scotland's economy
  • To provide weights and benchmarks for the Scottish short-term GDP system and the Scottish National Accounts Project
  • To provide multipliers for impact analyses

SCOTTISH QUARTERLY INDEX OF MANUFACTURED EXPORTS

The main uses made of this publication are:

  • To provide an up to date assessment of the levels and changes in manufacturing export sales in Scotland in constant prices.
  • To provide an input to the Scottish National Accounts Project (in current prices).

SCOTLAND 'S GLOBAL CONNECTIONS SURVEY

The main uses made of this publication are:

  • To provide annual information about exports of goods and services to the rest of the world and to the rest of the UK.
  • To provide an update for the Scotland PerformsNational Indicator on Exports Growth
  • To provide analysis of export destinations of Scottish goods and services.
  • To provide Scottish Development International with anecdotal information about issues relating to trading.

RETAIL SALES INDEX FOR SCOTLAND (RSIS )

The main uses made of this publication are:

  • To provide an up to date assessment of current levels and recent changes in retail sales in Scotland in constant and current prices.
  • To provide the retail sector component for the quarterly GDP estimates.

SCOTTISH NATIONAL ACCOUNTS PROJECT

The main uses made of this publication are:

  • To provide up to date measures of output, income and expenditure components of Scotland onshore GDP.
  • To provide a detailed set of quarterly household accounts for Scotland which include Gross Domestic Household Income, Household Final Consumption Expenditure and a derived Household Savings Ratio
  • To provide quarterly estimates of Scottish tax revenues.

GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE AND REVENUE SCOTLAND

The main uses made of this publication are:

  • To provide a set of public sector accounts for Scotland on a consistent basis with the UK Public Sector Finance estimates.
  • To provide a detailed analysis of Total Expenditure on Services in Scotland.
  • To provide a detailed analysis of Scottish Revenues by revenue stream.

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ANNEX A - RECENT EXAMPLES OF USES MADE OF SCOTTISH MACRO-ECONOMIC STATISTICS

QUARTERLY GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) FOR SCOTLAND

Third Annual Report of the Scottish Council of Economic Advisers - 10 December 2010

Statistics used: GDP; industrial sector analysis; focus on Construction output.

User comments on quality and coverage: None.

2010 Q3 - published 19 January 2011

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Scotland Performs - Purpose Target Number 1: Economic Growth

Statistics used: Scottish GDP, UK GDP and Small EU Countries GDP growth rates.

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BBC NEWS - Scotland Business - 19/1/11

Author: N/A

Other contributers: John Swinney (Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth); Iain McMillan (CBI Scotland)

Statistics used: Scottish and UK GDP; industrial sector analysis

User comments on quality and coverage: None

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Scotsman article - 20/1/11

Author: Eddie Barnes

Other Contributors: Garry Clark (Scottish Chambers of Business);

Statistics used: GDP growth Scotland.

User comments on quality and coverage: None

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Herald article - 20/1/11

Author: Ian McConnell

Other Contributors: Brian Ashcroft (Strathclyde University); Garry Clark (Scottish Chambers of Business); Jeremy Peat (David Hume Institute);

Statistics used: GDP Scotland and UK headline, industrial sector analysis.

User comments on quality and coverage: None

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Fraser of Allander - Quarterly Economic Commentary - Volume 34 No 3

Author: Brian Ashcroft

Other Contributors: N/A

Statistics used: GVA indices Scotland and UK; Industrial Sector Analysis.

User comments on quality and content: None

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Scotsman article - Positive Reasons to be cheerful - 3 March 2011

Author: Bill Jamieson

Statistics used: GDP Short-term and long-term growth rates

User comments on quality and content: None

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Scottish Economic Recovery Plan - February 2011

Statistics used: GVA Scotland and UK; GVA per employee; industrial sector analysis

User comments on quality and content: None

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State of the Economy Report - Dr Andrew Goudie - 3 March 2011

Author: Dr Andrew Goudie, Scottish Government Chief Economic Adviser

Statistics used: GDP/GVA; industrial sector analysis; focus on construction sector.

User comments on quality and content: None

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INPUT-OUTPUT TABLES AND MULTIPLIERS FOR SCOTLAND

1998-2007 Tables and Multipliers - published 13 October 2010

Affordable homes target doubles after developers express interest

The Herald, 14 December 2010.

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The Scottish Economic Recovery Plan

Internal policy advice, various economic impact assessments February 2011.

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High Level Carbon Assessment of the Scottish Draft Budget 2011/12.

Utilises the Scottish Environmental Input-Output model (EIO) that estimates the Greenhouse Gas emissions associated with the Scottish Government Draft Budget - published 17 November 2010. More information and press cuttings here.

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An HEI-Disaggregated Input-Output Table for Scotland

Hermannsson, K., Lisenkova, K., McGregor, P. & Swales, J. K. (2010d). , Strathclyde Discussion Papers in Economics, 10-14.

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Inter-Connectedness In The Scottish Economy

Dewhurst, J. H. L (2010). , Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics, Working paper No 238, August 2010.

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Scottish Offshore Wind: Creating an Industry

Scottish Renewables, 2010.

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Worth The Candle? The Economic Impact of Renewable Energy Policy in Scotland and the UK

Verso Economics, 2011. . Subsequent BBC article.

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SCOTTISH QUARTERLY INDEX OF MANUFACTURED EXPORTS

2010 Q3 - published 12 January 2011

BBC NEW Scotland Business - 12/1/11

Author: N/A

Other Contributors: Jim Mather (Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism); Statistics used: Scottish Manufactured Exports, industrial sector analysis

User comments on quality and content: None

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Scotsman article - 13/1/11

Author: Dominic Jeff

Other Contributors: Jim Mather (Minister for Peter Hughes (Scottish Engineering); David Lonsdale (CBI Scotland);

Statistics used: Scottish manufactured Exports, industrial sector analysis

User comments on quality and content: None

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Fraser of Allander - Quarterly Economic Commentary - Vol 34 No 3

Author: Brian Ashcroft

Other Contributors: N/A

Statistics used: Export Volumes; Industrial sector analysis;

User comments on quality and content: None

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Scottish Economic Recovery Plan - February 2011

Statistics used: Scottish manufactured export volumes.

User comments on quality and content: None

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State of the Economy Report - Dr Andrew Goudie - 3 March 2011

Author: Dr Andrew Goudie, Scottish Government Chief Economic Adviser

Statistics used: Volume of Scottish manufactured exports

User comments on quality and content: None

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Scotsman article - 21 April 2011 - "Slump in GDP raises fears of a slide back into recession"

Author: Jane Bradley

Other Contributors: Michael Levack - Chief Executive of the Scottish Building Federation; Iain McMillan Director of the Scottish CBI.

Statistics used: Scottish and UK GDP growth;

User comments on quality and content: Michael Levack finds it very hard to reconcile these latest GDP figures with the reality many construction firms are facing. (SG Statisticians will meet ML in June).

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SCOTLAND'S GLOBAL CONNECTIONS SURVEY

2002 - 2009 - published December 2010 and updated 21 January 2011

Scotland Performs - National Indicator Number 3 - Grow exports at a faster averate rate than GDP

Statistics used: Scottish Exports to Rest of World and Rest of UK - growth differentials between Exports and GDP (Current Prices).

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Insider magazine - 19/1/11

Author: N/A

Other contributers: N/A

Statistics used: Scottish exports to Rest of World and Rest of UK; destinations of exports to Rest of World; industrial sector analysis

User comments on quality and coverage: None

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Fraser of Allander - Quarterly Economic Commentary - Vol 34 No 3

Author: Brian Ashcroft

Other Contributors: N/A

Statistics used: Export Sales; Industrial sector analysis; Export market destinations

User comments on quality and content: None

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Scottish Economic Recovery Plan - February 2011

Statistics used: Value of total Scottish exports to the Rest of the World; Analysis of destinations of Whisky exports; analysis of destinations of food exports; other export destinations.

User comments on quality and content: None

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RETAIL SALES INDEX FOR SCOTLAND (RSIS)

2010 Q4 - published 2 February 2011

Herald article - 3/2/11

Author: Mark Williamson

Other Contributors:

Statistics used:

User comments on quality and content: None

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BBC News Article - 3/2/11

Author: Mark Williamson

Other Contributors:

Statistics used:

User comments on quality and content: None

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Scot Land of Food and Drink - press release 2/2/11

Author: N/A

Other Contributors: Jim Mather

Statistics used: Scottish and GB retail sales figures

User comments on quality and content: None

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State of the Economy Report - Dr Andrew Goudie - 3 March 2011

Author: Dr Andrew Goudie, Scottish Government Chief Economic Adviser

Statistics used: Volume of Scottish and GB retail sales./

User comments on quality and content: None

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SCOTTISH NATIONAL ACCOUNTS PROJECT

2010 Q3 - published 20 January 2011

SPICE BRIEFING NOTE - The Size of the Public Sector

Author: Jim Dewar

Other Contributors: N/A

Statistics used:

User comments on quality and content: None

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Fraser of Allander - Quarterly Economic Commentary - Vol 34 No 3

Author: Brian Ashcroft

Other Contributors: N/A

Statistics used: GDP and GVA cash values; Household Final Consumption Expenditure; Households Saving Ratio; Gross Fixed Capital Formation

User comments on quality and content: None

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Scotsman article - Hey, big saver: families turn frugal as the recovery falters - 3 March 2011

Author: Eddie Barnes

Statistics used: Household Final Consumption Expenditure

User comments on quality and content: None

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GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE AND REVENUE SCOTLAND

2009-10 - published 22 June 2011

STV News Release - 22 June 2011 - "Scotland in stronger budget position than the UK as a whole says new figures"

Author: not named

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure, revenue, oil revenues, expenditure per GDP, revenue per GDP.

User comment on quality and content: None

Guardian article - 22 June 2011 - "New study undermines economic case for Scottish Independence, opponents claim"

Author: Severin Carrell

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure, revenue, oil revenues, expenditure per GDP, revenue per GDP.

User comment on quality and content: None

Scotsman article - 23 June 2011 - "Slump in oil price would put go-it-alone Scotland in red"

Author: Eddie Barnes

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure, revenue, oil revenues, expenditure per GDP, revenue per GDP.

User comment on quality and content: None

Scotsman article - 23 June 2011 - "North Sea revenue is crucial - but volatile prices add risk element to fiscal autonomy"

Author: John McLaren

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure, revenue, oil revenues, expenditure per GDP, revenue per GDP.

User comment on quality and content: None

Scotsman Leader - 23 June 2011 - "Why SNP may be placing too much store in North Sea"

Author: Bill Jamieson (Business Editor)

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, focus on oil

User comment on quality and content: None

Herald article - 23 June 2011 - "Scotland better off going it alone, say statistics"

Author: Robbie Dinwoodie

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure and revenues

User comment on quality and content: None

The Courier article - 23 June 2011 - "Falling oil revenues provide fuel against independence - Michael Moore"

Author: not named

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure and revenues

User comment on quality and content: None

The Daily Record article - 23 June 2011 - "Independent Scotland would have been £14 billion in the red last year, governments figures show"

Author: Magnus Gardham

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure and revenues

User comment on quality and content: None

BBC Press Release - 23 June 2011 - "Balance of Payments - The statistical war about Scotland's future has broken out again, as it does every year around midsummer. Well it beats looking out at the rain

Author: Douglas Fraser

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure and revenues

User comment on quality and content: None

Scotsman article - 24 June 2011 - "A balance sheet Maggie would have been proud of"

Author: George Kerevan

Statistics Used: Fiscal balance calculations, expenditure, revenue, oil revenues, expenditure per GDP, revenue per GDP.

User comment on quality and content: "Wednesday saw the publication of GERS for the financial year 2009-10; that is, two years out of date. Sadly, having an economist for First Minister has not speeded up the publication of Scottish statistics".

Sandy Stewart comment: GERS relates to 2009-10 i.e. the financial year ending 31 March 2010. That means that GERS is only one year and three months out of date. We are currently consulting users about bringing the publication forward by 6 months.

2008-09 - published 23 June 2010



For Argyll article - 19 February 2011 - "Scotland is Doing OK"

Author: Russell Bruce

Statistics Used: Scottish Current Budget Surplus

User comments on quality and content: None

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Guardian article - 20 May 2011 - "Can Scotland pay its own way?"

Author: Aditya Chakrabortty

Statistics Used: Scottish Current Budget Surplus including and excluding North Sea revenues.

User comments on quality and content: None

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Wall Street Journal article - 20 May 2011 - "EU Integration Would Come at a High Price"

Author: Alen Mattich

Statistics Used: Scottish revenues and total managed expenditure