Economic output fell by 2.5% in 2020 Quarter 1

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s GDP fell by 2.5% during the first quarter of 2020, according to statistics announced today by the Chief Statistician which cover the period from January to March. Over the year, compared to the first quarter of 2019, the economy has contracted by 2.3%.

During the first quarter output in the construction sector contracted by -3.4%, output in production contracted by -3.3%, and output in the services sector contracted by -2.2%.

New monthly GDP statistics have also been published today for the first time. These are being developed by the Scottish Government to help track the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and are badged as experimental statistics (not national statistics).

The new statistics show that Scotland’s GDP is provisionally estimated to have fallen by 18.9% during April, after a fall of 5.0% in March. This indicates the direct economic impact of COVID-19 in Scotland during the first weeks and full month of the lockdown phase.

During the first quarter as a whole, and in the latest months, output has fallen in nearly every industry sector. The industries with the largest falls in output over the latest two months are those which have been required to close or where working at home is not possible.  


The First Estimate of GDP for Quarter 1.

The Monthly GDP Estimate for April.

The Monthly GDP statistics are designated as experimental official statistics, which means that they are still in development but have been released to enable their use at an early stage. All results are provisional and subject to relatively high levels of uncertainty.

Change in GDP is the main indicator of economic growth. All results are seasonally adjusted and presented in real terms (adjusted to remove inflation). GDP growth in this publication relates to Scotland’s onshore economy, which means it does not include the output of offshore oil and gas extraction.

Further information on GDP statistics.

These estimates are compiled in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.


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