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Outlook and appraisal [March 2000]

Ashcroft, Brian (2000) Outlook and appraisal [March 2000]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 25 (1). i-iii. ISSN 0306-7866

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The latest quarter quarterly GDP data from the Scottish Executive for the second quarter 1999 indicate that growth strengthened in both Scotland and the UK. Overall, the Scottish economy outperformed the UK economy in the second quarter and generally did so over the preceding four quarters in all principal sectors with the exception of the service sector. In the labour market, the latest employment and unemployment data indicate that there has been a continuing improvement in the Scottish labour market since the second quarter of 1999. The outlook remains favourable. Although there are legitimate concerns about the effect of the recent interest rate rises on the growth of the Scottish economy, the evidence suggests that the economy is performing as least as well as the UK when one year is taken with another. We expect this to continue for the foreseeable future. Growth is forecast to be weaker in Scotland this year than in the UK, but stronger in 2001 and similar to the UK in 2002.