Scotland's economy grew by 0.3% in the final three months of 2017, marking a full year of continuous growth, official figures today show.
This is marginally below the UK rate of 0.4% for the same period, but across 2017 as a whole annual GDP in Scotland increased by 0.8% compared to 2016.
The services sector, including the key finance industry grew by 0.5%, while output in Production grew by 0.9%.
But the construction sector continues to struggle and shrank by 2.6% in the final three months of last year. Scottish Government employability minister Jamie Hepburn said: “With four consecutive quarters of positive growth in 2017, Scotland’s economy continues to show strength. “These figures are welcome, but we are determined to do more to grow our economy and protect Scotland from the headwinds of Brexit.
“The Scottish Government is investing a record £2.4 billion in enterprise and skills, £4 billion in new infrastructure and £600 million in broadband, to ensure every home or business premise in Scotland has access to superfast broadband and that we can secure the benefits of the digital economy - a commitment unmatched across the UK."
Read more: Flatlining growth paints grim picture for Scottish economy
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the continued growth is "good news" for Scotland.
"I note a modest improvement in Scotland’s important services sector, and encouraging growth in production industries," he said.
“However, it is increasingly concerning that a significant gap persists between Scotland’s economy and the rest of the UK.
"The Scottish Government has the powers to boost productivity and strengthen the economy, and must use them to close this gap. By making Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK, the Scottish Government risks damaging, rather than growing, our economy."