The Scottish economy [October 1979]

Bell, David N.F. and Emmett, Gary and Fraser, Neil and Jowett, Anne and Kirwan, Frank X. and McGilvray, James W. and McNicoll, Iain H. and Moar, Lyle and Orton, Ian and Simpson, David R. F. and Wingfield, A. A. (1979) The Scottish economy [October 1979]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 5 (2). pp. 6-23. ISSN 0306-7866

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The previous two issues of this Commentary have both indicated that the Scottish economy has been performing poorly since the mid 1970's. This is true in both an absolute and a relative sense. Manufacturing production only increased by 1.2% between 1976 and 1978 and, after dropping below 1975 levels in the first quarter of 1979, is unlikely to show any substantial improvement for the year as a whole. In an international context the 1975-1978 performance can best be described as appalling. Over the same period industrial production in Eire grew by 28%, in Japan and the US by 23% and in West Germany and France by 15%. Inertia in developing new markets and lack of competitiveness in existing markets both contributed substantially to the virtual stagnation of Scottish output. Because the problems are so diverse, so too must be the solutions.