Monthly GDP Estimate: January 2021

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) statistics measure 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

Scotland’s onshore GDP is provisionally estimated to have fallen by 2.3% in January, as restrictions on economic activity were extended to the current lockdown for mainland Scotland. This is the third consecutive monthly fall in GDP, after output reduced by 1.4% in November and 0.4% in December.

With the further fall in January, output remains 8.4% below the pre-pandemic level in February 2020, and has fallen by a total of 4.1% over the three months since October.

In January there was growth in the production and construction sectors, but a fall of 3.4% in the services sector. Output fell in most of the services subsectors, with the drop in education activity, as most pupils moved to remote learning, making the largest contribution to the month on month fall.

Output in the production sector increased by 0.8% in January, including 1.9% growth in the manufacturing subsector. Output in the construction sector is also estimated to have increased by 0.9%.

Further information, including results for detailed industry sectors, can be found in the full publication and results tables downloads.

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, at this time, results in this release are mostly presented in terms of monthly growth rates, or the cumulative change compared to pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

All results are seasonally adjusted and presented in real terms (adjusted to remove inflation), and relate to Scotland’s onshore economy (which does not include offshore oil and gas extraction).

Correction: (24/03/2021 10:45) The original version of the Table 1.1 was found to have incorrect data in the cells for growth compared to 12 months ago and rolling 3 monthly growth. This has now been corrected.

Monthly GDP: January 2021 - publication
Monthly GDP: January 2021 - Tables
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