About GDP

Background information and guidance on the Scottish Government's quarterly gross domestic product (GDP).

This document is part of a collection

What GDP statistics are available for Scotland?

Scotland's Gross Domestic Product is published monthly and quarterly (summarising three months at a time) and reports the changes in the output of the economy. The headline results are 'real terms' growth for the Scottish economy and industries within it. 'Real terms', also referred to as a volume measure, means that the figures take into account the effect of inflation and allow for meaningful comparisons over time. Estimates are also seasonally adjusted to help with interpreting short term movements.

Scotland’s GDP growth is updated every month. Summaries of growth over the four Quarters of the year (January to March, April to June, July to September and October to December) are also updated twice each quarter :

  • There is a monthly estimate of GDP released approximately 60 days after the end of the month. The monthly estimate gives an early indication of quarterly trends, but tends to be much more volatile than monthly GDP and more prone to revision, as it uses more provisional data. 
  • There is an earlier first estimate of GDP released approximately 80 days after the end of each quarter, consistent with the UK GDP First Estimate. The first estimate deals with short-term volume change in the output of the economy. Estimates of the monetary value of GDP are published in the second estimate. The first estimate does not include revisions to quarters in the previous second estimate of GDP.
  • There is an updated second estimate in the GDP Quarterly National Accounts, consistent with the UK Quarterly National Accounts, at approximately 120 days after the end of the quarter. The second estimate update the most recent quarter’s data published in the first estimate and includes revisions to previous quarters. 

In addition to the second estimate of onshore growth in real terms, the GDP Quarterly National Accounts also includes:

  • Total GDP in cash terms for the onshore economy and the wider economy including offshore activities

  • Onshore GDP in cash terms broken down using all three of the output, expenditure and income approaches

  • The Index of Manufactured Exports (IME) in real terms

  • Household Sector income and expenditure accounts for Scotland, including Gross Disposable Household Income (GDHI) and the Savings Ratio;

  • Public sector revenues.

Scottish and UK National Accounts are produced in line with the European System of Accounts (ESA) 2010. Comparable statistics for the UK included in the GDP release are produced by ONS. Any UK figures quoted in the Scottish Government publications are taken from the latest ONS Quarterly National Accounts release.

Methods and data sources

The supporting document on this page is a sources catalogue which summarises what data sources are used in the process of calculating GDP and what size these industries have. 


If you have any questions about this site, please contact the National Accounts Unit as follows:

Phone: Sandy Stewart - Statistician (Head of Unit) - 0131 244 2825

Email: economic.statistics@gov.scot


National Accounts Unit
Office of the Chief Economic Adviser
Room 4WR
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh, EH1 3DG

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