Document Abstract

State of the economy

Summarises recent developments in the global, UK and Scottish economies and provides an analysis of the performance of, and outlook for, the Scottish economy. Notes that, overall, 2018 has been a positive year for the Scottish economy, with growth returning across all sectors of the economy, the labour market delivering record levels of performance and further growth in exports, all of which has been achieved against a backdrop of intensifying uncertainty regarding the UK’s exit from the EU, as well as, continuing structural challenges for particular firms and sectors of the economy. Considers the risks of a no-deal Brexit and provides some additional analysis in terms of Scotland’s sectoral strengths in international trade and potential downside risks of a disorderly no-deal Brexit on key sectors of the economy. Notes that the uncertainty relating to this is already impacting key economic indicators for Scotland: business and consumer sentiment surveys report notable falls in confidence; the Scottish Consumer Sentiment Indicator has fallen to its lowest reading since the series began in 2013; and investment decisions by business have skewed towards supply issues or been put on hold. Suggests that current independent forecasts for the Scottish economy remain positive for 2019 with growth between 1 and 1.5%, but that until EU exit is finalised these remain highly uncertain.


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Gillespie, Gary
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Scottish Government

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