Scottish economy and exports growing despite Brexit uncertainty

Scotland’s economy is continuing to grow and global exports are on the rise despite the uncertainty of Brexit, official figures have today revealed.

The economy grew by 0.3% between July and September last year the latest measure of GDP finds, meaning estimated annual growth of 0.6%. The quarterly growth is just below the UK rate of 0.4% over the same period.

The GDP figures in Scotland saw the services sector grow by 0.1%, the production sector grew by 1.1%, while output in the construction sector remained flat compared to the second quarter.

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Derek Mackay has welcomed the growth in EU exports

It comes as separate figures show that Scotland's exports to the EU have increased by 4.5% to £16.1 billion in 2018.

But this is still less than a third of export levels to the rest of the UK which have risen by £1.2 billion to reach £51.2 billion and account for 60% of all exports. Overall Scots exports around the globe have increased to £85billion in 2018, a rise of £2.4billion.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: "Exports to the European Union grew at a faster rate than those to the rest of the UK or to other international markets. That demonstrates the growing value of the EU to Scotland’s exporters.

“On Friday Scotland will be taken out of the European Union against our wishes – removing us from the world’s biggest trading bloc.

"That threatens to cause significant damage to the Scottish economy, and poses particular problems for exporters, making it harder for us to reach our ambitious target of international exports being 25% of GDP by 2029."

But the pro-UK Scotland in Union organisation said the value of exports to the rest of the UK, worth more than half of overall exports, spells out the risk of Scottish independence.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “This official data is concrete proof that Scotland’s best future is remaining in the UK.

“Our exports to the rest of the UK are a huge success story, but the SNP wants to take a wrecking ball to the economy for the sake of a border with England.

“Our home market is worth over three times as much for Scotland’s economy as the entire European Union, proving that whatever you think of Brexit, the answer is not Scexit."