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Forecasts of the Scottish economy [November 2012]

Allan, Grant (2012) Forecasts of the Scottish economy [November 2012]. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 36 (2). pp. 20-29. ISSN 2046-5378

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The Scottish economy has contracted in the first two quarters of 2012, marking three consecutive quarters of negative growth. While quarter three for the UK has seen an uplift of 1 per cent, this is not likely to be replicated in Scotland. It is therefore possible that the Scottish economy could contract in 2012 overall, and we now forecast a contraction of -0.1% over 2012 (down from 0.4% growth forecast in June 2012). Worsening forward-looking indicators on business confidence and export orders, in particular with trouble returning to major (core and periphery) economies of the Eurozone, continue to suggest that the return to pre-recession levels of economic activity is likely to be slow. Weak domestic demand from consumers and on-going fiscal consolidation are not sufficient to offset uncertainty around what was anticipated to be a recovery led by exports and investment. The silver lining appears to be that indexes suggest that a return to overall recession (a "triple-dip") appears to be unlikely. In our central forecast we have revised down growth in 2013 and 2014 to 1.3% and 2.2% respectively.