State of the Economy: June 2019

Recent developments in the global, UK and Scottish economies, and analysis of the performance of, and outlook for, the Scottish economy.

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Scotland Summary

Scotland’s GDP growth strengthened in Q1 2019.

  • Following a slight easing in the pace of growth in the second half of 2018, GDP growth picked up to 0.5% in Q1 2019.
  • Growth was broad based across the Service (0.1%), Production (1.8%) and Construction sectors (2.0%).
  • The manufacturing sector contributed most strongly to growth, with output increasing 2.6%.
  • GDP per person growth strengthened over the quarter to 0.3% (0.9% annually).

Employment rate has risen to record high in Feb-April 2019.

  • The unemployment rate fell over the quarter to 3.3%, remaining close to its record low of 3.2% in Q1 2019.
  • The employment rate increased to a record high of 75.9%, with 2.7 million people in employment.
  • Over the past year, the number of people in employment has increased by 34,000.
  • The inactivity rate fell over the quarter to 21.5%, however remained flat over the year.

Labour productivity growth strengthened in 2018.

  • Labour productivity grew by 0.5% in Q4 2018 and by 3.8% in 2018 as a whole – its fastest pace of growth since 2010.
  • The increase in productivity over the year reflects that GVA grew 1.3% while total hours worked fell by 2.4%.

Business and consumer confidence remain subdued.

  • RBS PMI for May reported a fall in business activity over the month. Looking ahead, businesses continue to expect stronger activity over the coming year, however confidence remains weak by historical standards.
  • Consumer sentiment in Scotland fell to its lowest level on record in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Independent GDP forecasts estimate growth of 0.8% to 1.2% in 2019, picking up to between 0.9% and 1.6% in 2020.
  • Forecasts assume a smooth Brexit, while a no deal Brexit risks pushing the Scottish economy into recession.

Scotland GDP Growth

Scotland Labour Productivity Growth

Scotland Labour Market

RBS Purchasing Managers' Index: Business Activity



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