Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information regarding the Office for National Statistics GDP data release 2020: FOI release

Published: 22 Oct 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
22 Oct 2020
Information regarding the Office for National Statistics GDP data release 2020: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000077986
Date received: 20 Aug 2020
Date responded: 17 Sep 2020
Information requested

You asked:

Whether any briefing/analysis/memos or otherwise have been prepared by Scottish Government officials for Ministers and/or their advisers on the GDP data released by the Office for National Statistics on 12 August and by the Scottish Government on 19 August that showed the UK economy as a whole grew at 8.7 per cent in June 2020 whereas Scotland’s economy grew by 5.7 per cent in the same period and the reason for the size of the gap between Scotland and rUK? Please provide details and copies of any such material where it exists.

Response

No stand-alone briefing was prepared for Ministers on the difference in monthly GDP growth between Scotland and the UK as a whole in June. However, some specific information was included in broader materials prepared for Ministers in relation to the monthly GDP statistics for Scotland published on 19 August. The broader material is out of scope of your request, so I enclose copies of the information that you have requested as extracts in the bullet points below.

All the information relates to the dates for opening non-essential retail across the UK, summarised on page 2 of the Monthly GDP statistics at https://www.gov.scot/publications/monthly-gdp-june-2020/

  • In June, UK GDP grew by 8.7%. This is more than the 5.7% in Scotland, with the retail sector in Scotland reopening around two weeks later than in England and the rest of the UK.
  • Although growth in June increased to 5.7%, it was lower than the 8.7% in the UK, likely reflecting the difference in easing of lockdown restrictions.
  • Monthly GDP growth in Scotland in June picked up to 5.7%, slightly lower than in the UK (+8.7%), likely reflecting the difference in timings around the easing of lockdown restrictions.
  • UK GDP increased by 8.7% in June, with the retail sector reopening around 2 weeks earlier than Scotland in England and the rest of the UK.
  • The pattern of growth in Scotland in June was slightly slower than the 8.7% growth in the UK, likely reflecting the difference in easing of lockdown restrictions.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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Edinburgh
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