Scotland’s GDP increased by 5.7% in June

Scotland’s GDP increased by 5.7% in June

Fiona Hyslop, economy secretary

Scotland’s GDP increased by 5.7% in June, according to statistics announced today Scotland’s chief statistician.

The growth in the latest month follows an increase of 2.3% in May, and falls of 19.2% in April and 5.8% in March.

Although output has increased for the last two months, it remains 17.6% below the level in February, prior to the direct impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

In June, there has been a wider pickup in activity than in May, with output increasing in all the main industry sectors, and in most of the sub-sectors within these.

For Quarter 2 as a whole (April to June), GDP is provisionally estimated to have fallen by 19.7% compared to Quarter 1 (January to March), after a fall of 2.5% in Quarter 1.

Across the two quarters of contraction, output is estimated to have fallen by a total of 21.7% compared to 2019 Quarter 4.

This is the third release of new monthly GDP statistics for Scotland, and the first to include a provisional estimate for the whole quarter.

These statistics have been produced by the Scottish Government to help track the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are badged as experimental statistics (not national statistics) which means they are still in development.

Fiona Hyslop, economy secretary, said: “Although the estimated figure for June shows that Scotland’s GDP has increased, the estimate for the quarter shows the devastating and unprecedented impact that the necessary lockdown restrictions have had on the economy.

“We have worked hard to protect Scotland’s economy and ensure that as many people as possible keep their jobs and this is supported by a package of support to businesses that totals over £2.3 billion.

“Since May we have started to see our economy open up as lockdown restrictions in Scotland have been eased and in order to help businesses safely restart, we have put in place a £230 million economic stimulus package and provided businesses with guidance and support.”

She continued: “We know that young people are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and we have committed £60m of the £100m employability fund to support Scotland’s Youth Guarantee to support young people by helping them make the transition into work.

“We continue to call on the UK Government to extend the Job Retention Scheme, particularly for those hardest hit sectors which face significant long-term challenges likely to remain when the scheme ends in October.”

Dr Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, added: “The collapse in Scotland’s GDP in the second quarter sets alarm bells ringing even if the fall was expected. The 19.7% decline from April to June makes Scotland’s and the UK’s economies among the worst performing in Europe.

“These figures confirm the Scottish economy is in deep recession and intervention is required now to prevent real and lasting damage to the jobs market.

“If businesses are to continue to retain their employees, we call on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make an immediate reduction in employers’ national insurance contributions. As wage support is withdrawn, we also need to see new initiatives such an Employee Retention Incentive which covers new and existing employers, so that employers, particularly in vulnerable sectors and locations, can keep the doors open until they are able to start earning again. 

“Without rapid intervention in the form of fiscal stimulus packages as well as cost cutting efforts such as rates holidays, we fear that Scotland’s economic landscape may never recover to previous levels.”

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