GDP for Scotland grew by almost 5% as Covid restrictions eased

New figures have shown GDP grew by 4.7 per cent in the latest quarter as lockdown restrictions were eased.

Finance secretary Kate Forbes said the data showed Scotland’s economy was “continuing its recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the three months of April to June, GDP was 21.7 per cent higher than it had been for the same period in 2020, during which the impacts of Covid-19 and lockdown were at their worst.

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In the most recent quarter the services sector grew by 5.2 per cent, while output in the production sector was up 3.5 per cent with a rise of 3.3 per cent in construction.

Finance secretary Kate Forbes. Picture: PA
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The 4.7 per cent growth in the economy as a whole was slightly lower than that experienced across the UK, where GDP increased by 4.8 per cent over the period April to June.

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Ms Forbes said the figures were “a tribute to the adaptability and resilience shown by so many businesses during the pandemic”.

She said: “It is clear to see the growth in the second quarter reflects the removal of lockdown restrictions, increased mobility and the acceleration of the vaccination programme.”

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Ms Forbes stressed the need for “fair and sustained economic growth”, pledging the Scottish Government would bring forward a ten-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation this autumn.

This, she said, “will build on our green economic recovery, prioritise investment in the industries of the future and deliver new, good and green jobs”.

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The economy secretary warned: “The pandemic is not over. Challenges remain and some sectors such as retail, tourism and hospitality still face obstacles on the road to recovery.

“But this GDP estimate clearly shows that Scotland’s economy is continuing its recovery from the global pandemic as we work with business and trades unions to build a greener, fairer and more prosperous economy with wellbeing at its core.”

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Similarly, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said while the latest GDP figures “indicate that we are moving in the right direction”, there are “still challenges ahead as we prioritise a strong, sustainable recovery”.

He said: “The UK Government introduced an unprecedented package of support to get us through the pandemic.

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“Now, with the focus on our Plan For Jobs, we are helping people in all parts of the United Kingdom get back to work, building back better and stronger.”.



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