Gross Domestic Product (GDP) monthly estimate: August 2020

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the output of the economy in Scotland. These monthly estimates have been developed to help track the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


This publication is designated as experimental official statistics. This means that the statistics are still in development but have been released to enable their use at an early stage. All results are provisional and subject to relatively high levels of uncertainty.

Main Findings

In August, Scotland’s GDP is provisionally estimated to have increased by 2.6% compared to last month. This is the fourth consecutive month of increasing GDP following the large drops in March and April, but represents a slowdown from the increase of 6.4% in July.

Despite the increases in the last four months, GDP remains 9.4% below the level in February, prior to the direct impacts of COVID-19. Compared to the lowest point in April, this means that around 60% of the lost output has been recovered.

In August there has been a more uneven pattern of growth among the main sectors of the economy than seen in recent months. Output in the Services sector is estimated to have increased by 3.3% compared to July, but remains 10.3% below its level in February. Output in the Production sector fell by 0.3%, and remains 5.6% below its level in February, and Construction sector output is estimated to have increased by 3.8% in August, but remains 9.4% below its level in February.

The rolling quarterly growth rate, comparing June-August to March-May, has returned to positive growth with an increase of 5.0%, following consecutive falls in each of the last two full quarters between January and June.

Important Information About This Release

These results are provisional and likely to be revised in the coming months as data sources are updated and methods are further improved.

Estimates of monthly GDP growth are inherently more volatile than quarterly or annual growth. In normal times it would be sensible to concentrate on the smoother rolling quarterly growth rate (latest three months compared to previous three months). However, due to the exceptional economic circumstances at this time, results in this release are mostly presented in terms of monthly growth rates, or the cumulative change over the course of the six months since February.

August GDP publication
August GDP Tables
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