Scotland's GDP rises, but still below pre-Covid levels

Scotland’s GDP rose by 0.9 per cent in June, but remained lower than pre-pandemic levels, the latest statistics show.

The Scottish Government’s figures, published in a monthly report on Wednesday, show economic output remained 2.1 per cent below the levels of February 2020.

The services sector grew by 1.2 per cent in June, with the largest contribution coming from accommodation and food services.

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This subsector rose for the third month in a row, as activity continues to pick up following the easing of restrictions.

Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, arrives at Downing Street. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images

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Output in services remains 12.9 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

The report noted that rising Covid cases in schools had affected the figures for education.

It said: “There was a negative contribution from education in June, as school attendance rates fell during the month as coronavirus cases began to increase again.”

The production sector grew by 0.5 per cent, with growth in electricity and gas supply offset by falls in manufacturing and waste management.

Construction fell by 1.4 per cent, reflecting an overall decline across the UK in the latest quarter. Output in this sector is now 3.7 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

For the second quarter of 2021 (April to June), GDP was estimated to have grown by 4.9 per cent.

This compared to a fall of 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, as Scotland was affected by lockdown restrictions.

Responding to the figures, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “While today’s figures show some resilience, we still face challenges. A strong, sustainable recovery remains our priority.

“The UK Government put unprecedented measures in place from the very beginning of the pandemic to protect lives and livelihoods.

“That’s included supporting the jobs of nearly a million people in Scotland through furlough and with unprecedented financial help for the self-employed.

“More than 90,000 businesses have benefited from business loans and VAT cuts have kept firms in the hardest-hit sectors afloat.

“We’ve provided the Scottish Government with more than £14.5 billion in additional funding, £1.5bn has been invested in growth deals across Scotland and our new levelling up and community renewal funds will benefit communities right across the UK.”

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