Scotland’s economy bounces back

Oil and Gas stabilises as economy grows by 0.8%.

Expansion in the manufacturing sector has helped the Scottish economy to grow by 0.8% - the highest rate of quarterly growth in Scotland since the end of 2014, new figures reveal.

The positive growth figures show the Scottish economy rebounding from negative growth in the previous quarter – with a growth rate for the first quarter of 2017 that is four times the UK wide rate for the same quarter.

Statistics announced by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show:

  • The Scottish economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2017. UK quarterly growth in the first quarter of 2017 was 0.2%
  • In the first quarter of 2017, services in Scotland grew by 0.3%, production grew by 3.1%, and construction contracted by 0.7%
  • Output in the metals industry, which includes much of the oil and gas supply chain, was up significantly. This follows the re-opening of the Dalzell steel plant after Scottish Government intervention to secure its future, and recent business survey evidence that output in the oil and gas supply chain may be stabilising.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:

“Today’s figures are welcome and reinforce the fact that the fundamentals of Scotland’s economy are strong. Scotland’s output is now 6% above the pre-recession level and unemployment is at its lowest ever level.

“Since late 2014 our growth rate has been impacted significantly by the fortunes of the North Sea with around two thirds of the slowdown in 2016 attributed to the onshore impact of lower oil prices. Today’s figures show a rise in output in industries linked to the North Sea for the first time since 2014. While there is no room for complacency, these figures - alongside a number of recent business surveys - indicate that there is growing confidence in the sector.

“Manufacturing output is also up, in part due to the resumption of steel production at the Dalzell plant after the Scottish Government intervened to save this key strategic asset. The re-opening of Dalzell is just one of the actions the Scottish Government is taking to boost manufacturing - we are also supporting expansion of the aluminium smelter at Lochaber and the development of a new manufacturing centre in Renfrewshire.

“While today’s figures are positive, we will continue to do everything possible to support the performance of Scotland’s economy, particularly as Brexit uncertainty continues to cast a shadow over the future economic outlook. The Scottish Government will continue to use all of the powers at our disposal, including our £6.5bn infrastructure plan and our new £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme which opened for bids last month. We will also continue to invest in the doubling of free childcare and offer support for key industries including oil and gas, manufacturing, tourism and new technologies.

“Today’s figures are a welcome vote of confidence in our economy and the Scottish Government will continue to work hard to support it through difficult times ahead.”

GDP Statistics announced by Scotland’s Chief Statistician


Media enquiries

Back to top