Households in Scotland have seen the strongest income growth in the UK since the economic crash, a new report from a think-tank has found.
The Resolution Foundation found the financial downturn in 2008 and the subsequent recovery have been felt “very differently” across the UK.
Scots have experienced the largest percentage growth in income, up 4%, while incomes in Northern Ireland (-2.4%), the West Midlands (-1.9%) and eastern England (-0.8%) were still below pre-crash levels.
However, the think-tank warned the pace of the recovery in living standards across the UK is set to slow over the next four years, with many poorer households losing out altogether.
The data is contained in the Resolution Foundation’s annual audit of living standards, which looks at the detailed picture around the UK.
Overall, it found typical household living standards have finally surpassed their previous peak levels. Typical household income now stands at £24,300 - above the 2009 high - against a backdrop of rising employment and low inflation.
The independent report, entitled Living Standards 2016, looked at the path to recovery from the 2008 crash to last year.
It noted: “Taking three-year averages... median incomes before housing costs increased by 4% in Scotland and by 2.9% in London between 2008 and 2015, but fell by 2.4% in Northern Ireland and by 1.9% in the West Midlands.”
The findings were welcomed by the Scottish government and an SNP MSP, who said the findings showed Scotland’s economy was outperforming that of the UK as a whole.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Scotland’s economy has recovered strongly from the downturn in 2008 and continues to grow.
“We remain focused on continuing to improve Scotland’s performance in the priority areas of investment, innovation, inclusive growth and internationalisation set out in Scotland’s economic strategy, and we will continue to use every power at our disposal to build on this growth and realise the full productive potential of Scotland.”
SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said: “This report makes clear that in areas where the Scottish Government has responsibility and has taken action, Scotland has weathered the economic storm better than the rest of the UK.”