GDP Quarterly National Accounts: 2023 Quarter 3 (July to September)

An accredited official statistics publication. This release includes updated estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) for Scotland, along with a range of additional economic statistics which are used for economic forecasting and modelling.

GDP growth in volume terms

Headline quarterly GDP figures

Scotland’s onshore GDP (i.e. excluding offshore oil and gas) is estimated to have grown by 0.4% during 2023 Quarter 3 (July to September), unrevised from the first estimate for the quarter published on 29 November. The increase in the latest quarter follows a fall of 0.2% during 2023 Quarter 2 (April to June) and growth of 0.1% during Quarter 1 (January to March).

Over the year, compared to the same quarter in 2022, Scotland’s GDP has grown by 0.7%. This has been revised up from the first estimate of 0.4% growth.

Annual GDP growth and comparisons to pre-pandemic levels

Annual GDP is now estimated to have grown by an upwardly revised 5.9% in 2022, following growth of 9.2% in 2021 and a fall of 12.0% in 2020.

The latest estimates show that, in 2023 Quarter 3, GDP in Scotland is now 1.7% above the pre-pandemic level in 2019 Quarter 4, revised up from the previous estimate of being 0.9% above. This change is due to upward revisions to GDP growth in 2022 and the early part of 2023, and is largely due to the inclusion of updated UK price deflators for some services subsectors. These are consistent with the UK Quarterly National Accounts which were similarly revised towards the end of 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 firm conclusions based on comparisons between Scotland and the UK as a whole, or other countries, which include the periods of time when the economy was most severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This includes the estimate of the latest level of GDP compared to the pre-pandemic level, and the size of changes in GDP during 2020 to 2022. 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 3, output in the services sector grew by 0.2% compared to the previous quarter, with output increasing in seven of the fourteen subsectors. The largest contributions to overall growth came from professional, scientific and technical services (+1.4%) and information and communication services (+1.5%). The largest negative contribution to growth which partially offset growth was in the wholesale, retail and motor trades subsector (-1.4%). 

Output in the production sector grew by 1.3% overall, with increases in three of the four main subsectors, including growth of 0.5% in manufacturing and 4.6% in electricity and gas supply.

Output in the construction sector grew by 0.4% during Quarter 3.

Estimates of GDP in volume terms for the services and production sectors can be found in the downloadable data tables, including more detailed breakdowns of the manufacturing sector, and estimates of annual GDP growth back to 1963.

Estimates of GDP growth in volume 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 November 2023 at the time of release.



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