Publication - Progress report

State of the economy: October 2018

Published: 23 Oct 2018
Directorate:
Chief Economist Directorate
Part of:
Economy
ISBN:
9781787813144

Report produced tri-annually by the Chief Economic Adviser to provide a picture of the Scottish economy in an international context.

State of the economy: October 2018
Scotland Summary

Scotland Summary

GDP growth has strengthened in 2018.

  • GDP in Scotland grew 0.5% in Q2 2018 compared to growth of 0.4% in the UK as a whole.
  • Annual growth in Scotland (1.7%) in Q2 2018 was its highest rate since 2014.
  • Growth was broad based with the services, production and construction sectors all growing.
  • The service sector grew 0.4% in Q2 2018, production grew 0.6% and construction grew 1.8%.

Labour market continues to perform strongly.

  • Over the year to June-August, the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, remaining close to its record low of 3.8% in 2017.
  • The employment rate fell over the quarter and the past year to 74.9%, with 2.64 million people in employment.
  • The inactivity rate rose over the quarter and the year to 22.0%.

Labour productivity continued to grow in Q1 2018.

  • Trend growth in productivity (output per hour worked) increased by 1.7% in Q1 2018, however fell by 0.4% on a rolling annual basis.
  • The fall in productivity over the year reflects that growth in hours worked (1.7%) outpaced GVA growth (1.3%).

GDP growth forecasts strengthen but remain below trend.

  • Business surveys signal that business optimism remains generally positive in the second half of 2018, however has eased from the start of the year.
  • Scottish consumer sentiment remained in negative territory in Q3 2018 (-3.8) having weakened from the start of the year.
  • Independent GDP growth forecasts for 2018 range between 0.7% and 1.3%, strengthening slightly to between 0.8% and 1.6% for 2019.
  • Scotland’s GDP grew 0.8% in the first half of 2018, outpacing the SFC forecast for 2018 as a whole (0.7%).

Scotland GDP Growth

Scotland GDP Growth

Scotland Labour Market

Scotland Labour Market

Scotland Labour Productivity Growth

Scotland Labour Productivity Growth

Scottish Consumer Sentiment Indicator

Scottish Consumer Sentiment Indicator

Contact

Email: Office of the Chief Economic Adviser