GDP quarterly national accounts: 2020 quarter 4 (October-December)

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

Main results

  • Scotland’s GDP is estimated to have grown by 2.3% in real terms during the fourth quarter of 2020, revised up from the first estimate of 2.0% published in March. The increase in the latest quarter follows growth of 15.6% in quarter 3 and falls of 18.5% in quarter 2 and 2.9% in quarter 1.
  • For 2020 as a whole, annual GDP is estimated to have fallen by 9.6% in real terms compared to 2019, unrevised from the first estimate.

Information about this release

This publication provides updated estimates of GDP in real terms (i.e. adjusted for inflation) during the October to December 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 2020 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 February 2021, is available here. The monthly GDP estimate for March, which will also include a provisional estimate for Quarter 1, will be published on Wednesday 26 May.

About the GDP Quarterly National Accounts

This publication includes the second estimate of onshore GDP growth for 2020 Quarter 4 (October-December), which uses additional data released since the GDP First Estimate published on 17 March 2021. The results in this release are comparable to the UK Quarterly National Accounts for Quarter 4 published on 31 March 2021.

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, 2020 Q4 - Publication
GDP by industry in real terms, second estimate tables
Other quarterly national accounts summary tables
Supplementary Analytical Tables



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