The Scottish economy [April 1980]

Bell, David N.F. and Emmett, Gary and Fraser, Neil and Hamilton, Douglas and Jowett, Anne and McGilvray, James W. and Kirwan, Frank X. and Moar, Lyle and Orton, Ian and Simpson, David R. F. and Wingfield, A. A. (1980) The Scottish economy [April 1980]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 5 (4). pp. 6-30. ISSN 0306-7866

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With GDP in the UK likely to fall by between 1% and 3% during 1980, it would be unrealistic to expect a substantially different performance in Scotland. Output will fall, and this fall is likely to be concentrated, once more, in the manufacturing sector. At present, three main problems confront manufacturers. Firstly, the strength of sterling is limiting the ability of exporters to compete in international markets and of producers for the domestic market to resist cheap imports in home markets. Other things being equal, one might expect sterling's value to decline gradually during 1980, because of the UK's appreciably higher rate of inflation than its competitors. However, other things are unlikely to be equal. If political tension builds up in the Persian Gulf area, as seems likely, then currencies of those countries which are self-sufficient in energy will inevitably harden.