Rethink GDP

Exports and GDP have both gone up (your report, 27 January). Welcome news, but there are caveats. For example, drink, refined petroleum and chemical products are made by non-
Scottish companies, so profits don’t stay here.

This alters the interpretation of GDP, which anyway is increasingly regarded by some economists as flawed because growth is assessed by quantity of activities rather than quality, a worry for maintaining the Scottish and Scotch brands’ image.

GDP components vary from country to country, thus the UK included illegal drug sales and prostitution proceeds last year and got a GDP boost.

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The First Minister needs to move from the simplistic soundbite about the economy’s growth for two years and be more analytical and objective.

Crude oil was excluded from the official survey, a somewhat important omission perhaps?

Joe Darby