GDP Quarterly National Accounts: 2021 Quarter 1 (January to March)

This publication includes the updated second estimate of onshore GDP growth in real terms for the first quarter of 2021, along with additional breakdowns of GDP by categories of income and expenditure, and key household sector economic statistics.

Main results

  • In 2021 Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar), Scotland’s onshore GDP is estimated to have fallen by 1.8% in real terms compared to the previous quarter, revised up from the previous estimate of a 1.9% fall.
  • Compared to the same quarter last year, Scotland’s GDP has fallen by 5.3%, revised up from the previously estimated fall of 5.4%. In quarterly terms, the level of GDP is now 8.1% below the level in 2019 Quarter 4 (Oct-Dec), prior to the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • In Quarter 1 there was growth of 1.0% in the production sector and growth of 1.7% in the construction sector. This was offset by contraction of 2.7% in the services sector, which makes up three quarters of the economy. The largest contributors to the fall were from the subsectors which were most directly impacted by the new or increased restrictions which were in place across Scotland from the end of December onwards, such as education, accommodation and food services, and retail.

Information about this release

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 was for May 2021. The monthly GDP estimate for June, which will also include a provisional estimate for Quarter 2, will be published on Wednesday 25 August.

We are running a short  user survey to get your views on our GDP and retail sales statistics and help us plan future development work. Further information can be found at

About the GDP Quarterly National Accounts

This publication includes the second estimate of onshore GDP growth for 2021 Quarter 1 (January to March), which uses additional data released since the GDP First Estimate published on 16 June 2021. The results in this release are comparable to the UK Quarterly National Accounts for Quarter 1 published on 30 June 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 by industry in real terms - second estimate tables
Other Quarterly National Accounts Summary Tables
Supplementary Analytical Tables



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