Gross Domestic Product - monthly estimate: October 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 October, Scotland’s GDP is provisionally estimated to have increased by 0.6% compared to September. This is the sixth consecutive month of increasing GDP, but growth has slowed since the summer. Output remains 5.7% below the level in February, prior to the direct impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October there has been continued growth in the production and construction sectors, but zero growth overall in the services sector. Whilst there was growth in most of the services subsectors, this was offset by a fall in accommodation and food services as local restrictions on business opening began to be applied across health board areas in the central belt of Scotland.

Output in the production sector increased by 2.7% overall, and has now returned to above the level seen in February. Within the production sector, total manufacturing output is estimated to have recovered to above the pre-pandemic level in February, although this does vary between different manufacturing industries. Electricity and gas output has also returned to a level higher than seen in February.

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 compared to February. 

Monthly GDP Publication
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