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State of the Economy report

Published: 19 Jan 2018 10:12
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2018 a pivotal year for growth.


Scotland’s economy is expected to continue to grow in 2018, despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty, with stronger global growth and an improved outlook for the oil and gas sector helping to support this growth.

However, as the range of independent forecasts for 2018 reflect, uncertainty over the EU exit process remains a key risk.

The State of the Economy report published today by Scotland’s Chief Economist Gary Gillespie, also highlights.

  • Findings from the GDP Statistics published earlier in the week show that, despite challenging economic conditions, the economy continued to grow into the second half of 2017 albeit at below trend rate.
  • The labour market in Scotland is performing close to record levels in terms of employment and the rate of unemployment, reflecting a strong aggregate labour market.
  • The outlook based on independent forecasts signals positive GDP growth for 2018 of between 0.7% and 1.4%.

The report comes as the Council of Economic Advisers gather at the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh headquarters to discuss the key economic opportunities and challenges facing Scotland.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “The latest report further demonstrates the resilience of the Scottish economy during 2017 with encouraging signals of a slightly stronger outlook for the coming year.

“While growth has been more modest than we would have liked, we’ve seen growth in the services sector and a welcome return to growth in the production sector, which continues to be supported by the pick-up in economic sentiment in the oil and gas sector.

“Scotland’s unemployment rate is lower than the UK, remaining below last year’s figure and close to record lows while the number of people in employment has risen by 59,000 over the past year with 80% of the increase coming from full-time employment.

“However, the report also notes that Brexit remains the biggest uncertainty hampering further growth, and I would once again call on the UK Government to give people and businesses greater certainty on the Brexit process.”


The full State of the Economy report can be read here -

The Council of Economic Advisers is an independent advisory group to the First Minister. For more information on the Council of Economic Advisers and a list of members, see visit: