Headline quarterly GDP figures
Scotland’s onshore GDP (i.e. excluding offshore oil and gas) is estimated to have fallen by 0.3% during 2023 Quarter 2 (January to March), unrevised from the first estimate for the quarter published on 30 August. The increase in the latest quarter follows unrevised growth of 0.2% during 2023 Quarter 1 (January to March) and is the first decrease in quarterly output since the downwardly revised fall of 0.4% during Quarter 3 (July to September).
Over the year, compared to the same quarter in 2022, Scotland’s GDP has fallen by 0.4%. This has been revised down from the first estimate of a 0.2% fall. Looking at the data more widely, whether in quarterly or monthly terms, GDP has fluctuated from quarter to quarter but been broadly flat since the end of 2021.
Annual GDP growth and comparisons to pre-pandemic levels
Annual GDP is now estimated to have grown by 5.2% in 2022, following growth of 9.2% in 2021 and a fall of 12.0% in 2020. These figures have been revised up for all three years.
The latest estimates show that, in 2023 Quarter 2, GDP in Scotland is now 0.5% above the pre-pandemic level in 2019 Quarter 4, revised up from the previous estimate of being 0.5% below. This change is due to upward revisions to GDP growth in 2021 and the early part of 2022, and is largely driven by updates based on the data drawn from the latest comparable UK GDP statistics, which have been similarly revised based on the results of the UK Blue Book 2023. Further information on the revisions to GDP is available in the later section of this publication.
Users should continue to be cautious about drawing conclusions based on comparisons between Scotland and the UK as a whole, or other countries, for the periods when the economy was most severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The estimates of GDP from 2020 onwards are continuing to evolve as more data becomes available, and it is likely that these results will change again in future releases. A recent blog by the National Statistician has re-iterated the challenges of measuring GDP at this time.
Latest results by industry of output
In 2023 Quarter 2, output in the services sector fell by 0.1% overall compared to the previous quarter, with output falling in six of the fourteen subsectors. The largest negative contributions to overall growth came from financial and insurance services (-2.6%) and information and communication services (-1.2%).
Output in the production sector fell by 1.9% overall, with decreases in the output of all four subsectors. Within production, the fall of 1.8% in manufacturing making the most significant overall contribution to the fall in headline GDP, while output in the electricity and gas supply subsector fell by 2.4%.
Output in the construction sector grew by 0.8% during Quarter 2.
Estimates of GDP growth in real terms based on the expenditure approach to GDP (consumption, government expenditure, investment and trade) are also available in the downloadable data. These figures are currently designated as official statistics in development and are principally published for use by analysts, for example as inputs to economic forecasts.
The Monthly GDP estimates give a more detailed indication of the trends for each industry sector, and include results up to August 2023 at the time of release.
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