Publication - Research and analysis

State of the economy: April 2020

Published: 21 Apr 2020
From:
Gary Gillespie
Directorate:
Chief Economist Directorate
Part of:
Coronavirus in Scotland, Economy
ISBN:
9781839607035

Report summarising recent developments in the global, UK and Scottish economies with an analysis of the performance of, and outlook for, the Scottish economy.

27 page PDF

2.4 MB

27 page PDF

2.4 MB

Contents
State of the economy: April 2020
Scotland Summary

27 page PDF

2.4 MB

Scotland Summary

Business activity falls at sharpest recorded rate in March.

  • Scotland PMI business survey for March reported that private sector business activity in Scotland declined at the quickest rate since the survey began in January 1998.
  • The contraction in business activity was sharpest in the service sector, however the manufacturing sector also saw it sharpest fall in output since 2009.
  • The Fraser of Allander Institute Business Monitor reported that 89% of Scottish businesses state that their turnover has been impacted since the beginning of March due to COVID-19.
  • It also reported that 54% of firms said they could survive under current levels of trading for 'less than three months' while a further 32% said they could survive for 'four to six months'.

Business surveys signal falls in staff levels in March.

  • Over the past few years, Scotland has had near historic high levels of employment and low unemployment.
  • Latest PMI business survey data for March signal that private sector staffing levels fell at their sharpest rate since 2009.
  • The Scottish Jobs business survey for March reported the steepest decline in permanent staff appointments since April 2009, while temporary billings fell at the quickest pace on record.
  • Universal Credit (UC) claims (out of work/low income benefit) rose sharply in March and April. Over the two week period to 7 April, new claims for UC increased by around 61,000 in Scotland.

Scotland's GDP could fall by 33%.

  • Scottish Government analysis shows that GDP could fall by around 33% during the current period of social distancing.
  • The fall in output could be spread over March and April (that is over both Q1 and Q2).
  • The estimates at a Scottish level are similar to those by the OECD and OBR.
RBS Purchasing Managers’ Index: Business Activity
RBS Purchasing Managers’ Index: Business Activity
Staff Placements in Scotland
Staff Placements in Scotland
RBS Purchasing Managers’ Index: Employment
RBS Purchasing Managers’ Index: Employment
Scotland, New Universal Credit Claims, Daily
Scotland, New Universal Credit Claims, Daily

Contact

Email: OCEABusiness@gov.scot