Gross Domestic Product - monthly estimate: May 2020

This is the second publication of monthly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) statistics for Scotland. Provisional estimates are available for the output of each industry and the whole economy up to May 2020.

This is the second publication of monthly GDP statistics for Scotland, which have been developed to help track the economic impact of COVID-19. These are designated as experimental official statistics, which means that they 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 GDP is provisionally estimated to have increased by 1.5% in real terms during May, after falling by 18.9% in April and 5.5% in March. Despite the increase in May, GDP remains 22.1% below the level in February, prior to the lockdown measures which were introduced in March.
  • After output fell in nearly every industry during April, the results for May are more mixed. Some parts of the economy are estimated to have seen a pickup in activity as firms and consumers adapted to physical distancing and some people returned to work. However, other industries across the services sector experienced further falls in output.

Important information about this release

These results are provisional and likely to be revised in the coming months as data sources and methods are further improved. Revisions are particularly likely to be made when the more comprehensive data sources for quarterly GDP become available in August and September.

The estimates for March to May are broadly similar to the pattern seen across the UK as a whole, which reflects the similar lockdown measures in place at these times. Any apparent differences are within the likely margin of error at this time and should not be interpreted as significant.

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 three months of March to May.

Further Information is available in the publication download and tables.

May GDP Publication
May GDP Tables
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