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The Scottish economy [January 1976]

Bell, David N. F. and McGilvray, James W. and Oswald, Andrew J. and Simpson, David R. F. and Telford, Richard (1976) The Scottish economy [January 1976]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 1 (3). pp. 8-16. ISSN 0306-7866

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In our previous (October) Commentary it was suggested that the relatively better performance of the Scottish economy compared to the UK, a result of the stimulus provided by oil-related activity, might not be sustained. Despite a reportedly more pessimistic outlook by Scottish industry, however, evidence presently available for the last quarter of 1975 shows no obvious deterioration in terms of trends in relative unemployment, unlike previous recessions in which Scotland fared relatively worse than the rest of the UK. While it is too early in the present recession to be optimistic, it is now conceivable to argue that the effects of oil on the Scottish economy, allied with the longer-term structural changes which have occurred over the last decade, have effected a more lasting improvement in the underlying resilience of the economy. Nevertheless, this cautious note of optimism must be seen against a background of a continuing decline in output and employment with little immediate prospect of improvement.