Scots economy facing three-year recovery from COVID lockdown

Scotland's economy may take three years to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, new reseach shows.

Fiona Hyslop says the findings are stark
Fiona Hyslop says the findings are stark

The impact of lockdown in April saw economic activity plunge to historic lows in Scotland, as firms were forced to close their doors to choke off the spread of the virus, the Scottish Government report adds.

Unemployment is rising from its pre-COVID-19 lows and could hit more than 10% this year, it warns, although the Job Retention Scheme is helping to contain this.

The stark findings are set out in a report published by the Scottish Government's chief economist Gary Gillespie.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “These figures show in stark terms the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am aware that many people will be deeply concerned about their livelihoods as we start to emerge from lockdown, and the Scottish Government has been working tirelessly to keep businesses afloat and ensure as few people as possible lose their jobs."

She added: “It is critical that we now gradually reopen the economy, following the routemap out of lockdown that we have drawn up in close consultation with business organisations, trades unions and regulators. During this critical phase we will continue to work with employers so that they can safely get back to work and help the economy on its path to recovery."

The Scottish Government has provided £2.3 billion to businesses to in emergency funding, with £104 million having been awarded from the Scottish Government Business Support Fund, helping more than 2,500 firms.

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