Scottish economy continues to grow

Statistics show record business investment in research and development.

Scottish businesses are investing record amounts in research and development, according to statistics published today.

The Business Enterprise Research & Development (BERD) statistics show that BERD expenditure in Scotland in 2017 was £1.247 billion – the highest level since 2001 and up by 13.9% on 2016.

This research and development spending in Scotland was predominantly split between manufacturing products (£594 million or 47.6% of the total) and services products (£560 million or 44.9% of the total).

Meanwhile, the latest GDP statistics published this morning also show the Scottish economy continued to have stable growth for the fifth consecutive quarter.

Scotland’s GDP grew by 0.3% in real terms during the third quarter of 2018. Compared to the same quarter last year, it has grown by 1.5%. This follows stronger growth in the first half of 2018.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay welcomed both sets of figures:  

“It’s great news that the Scottish economy continues to grow and the BERD statistics show just how much Scotland is investing in R&D.

“Investment in research and development in Scotland has been particularly impressive. Over £1.2 billion was spent on R&D by businesses in Scotland last year which is a sizeable 13.9% increase in real terms from 2016 and a 93.6% increase when compared to 2007 levels.

“GDP has increased for the fifth consecutive quarter and, when compared to the same period last year, has increased by 1.5%.

“Last week I set out the important steps the Scottish Government is taking to continue these positive trends. Our budget will deliver the economic investment people expect and will continue to grow the Scottish economy. However, the key risk to Scotland’s economy over the next six to twelve months continues to be the uncertainty associated with Brexit, and in particular the risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, which is impacting on business confidence and investment.”    


Change in gross domestic product (GDP) is the main indicator of economic growth in Scotland. Two estimates of Scotland’s GDP growth are now published each quarter on a faster timetable than previously available.  

The full statistical GDP publication

The full statistical BERD publication


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