GDP quarterly national accounts: 2020 quarter 3 (July-September)

This publication includes the updated second estimate of onshore GDP growth in real terms for the third quarter of 2020, along with additional breakdowns of GDP by categories of income and expenditure, and key household sector economic statistics.

Headline results

  • Scotland’s GDP is estimated to have grown by 15.8% in real terms during the third quarter of 2020, revised down from the first estimate of 16.0% published in December. This follows contractions of 19.1% and 3.3% in the previous two quarters. The equivalent results for the UK as a whole are growth of 16.1% and contractions of 19.0% and 2.9% in these periods.
  • Compared to the same quarter last year, Scotland’s GDP has fallen by 9.4%, revised up from the first estimate of 9.5%. The equivalent UK fall over the year was 8.7%.

Information about this release

This publication provides updated estimates of GDP in real terms (i.e. adjusted for inflation) during the July to September period, together with new estimates for the quarter which break down GDP into components of expenditure and income.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a number of challenges in collecting and processing the data to calculate GDP. As a result, estimates for this quarter are subject to more uncertainty than usual and may be more prone to revision over time.

In recent months, the Scottish Government has developed faster monthly estimates of real terms GDP growth. The latest experimental statistics release, for November, is available here. The monthly GDP estimate for December, which will also include a provisional estimate for Quarter 4, will be published on Wednesday 24 February.

About the GDP Quarterly National Accounts

This publication includes the second estimate of onshore GDP growth for 2020 Quarter 3 (July-September), which uses additional data released since the GDP First Estimate published on 16 December 2020. The results in this release are comparable to the UK Quarterly National Accounts for Quarter 3 published on 22 December 2020.

This publication also includes revisions to previous years and quarters. GDP in nominal terms and its components of output, income and expenditure have been updated to be consistent with the latest Supply and Use Tables for 1998-2017 and are revised in all periods back to 1998. GDP in real terms has been updated with new industry weights for 2017, and revised back to 2016 Quarter 1. Estimates of Gross Disposable Household Income have been revised back to 1998 and are consistent with the latest regional results produced by the Office for National Statistics.

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

  • Total GDP in nominal (cash) terms for the onshore economy and also the wider economy including offshore activities
  • Onshore GDP in nominal terms broken down using all three of the output, expenditure and income approaches
  • Experimental statistics estimates of the expenditure approach to GDP in real terms
  • Household Sector income and expenditure accounts for Scotland, including Gross Disposable Household Income (GDHI) and the Household Savings Ratio
  • Public sector revenues.


The publication includes a short summary of key results from the latest statistics. Full results for all components are available in the downloadable tables below


GDP Quarterly National Accounts Publication
GDP by industry in real terms: 2nd estimate tables
Other Quarterly National Accounts Summary Tables
Supplementary Analytical Tables



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