The Scottish economy [May 1983]

Kirwan, Frank and Bell, David and Buchanan, Bob and Crawford, Robert and Harrigan, Frank and Jowett, Anne and Moar, Lyle and McGilvray, James and McNicoll, Iain and O'Donnell, Noreen and Simpson, David and Tait, Elizabeth and Walker, Jim and Wingfield, Alison (1983) The Scottish economy [May 1983]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 8 (4). pp. 11-32. ISSN 0306-7866

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As this analysis shows, the short-term outlook for the Scottish economy under present policy is for a moderate, but selective, improvement in output and for a continuing slow deterioration in labour market conditions. Manufacturing production is likely to grow by about 1%-1.5% between second quarter 1983 and second quarter 1984, leaving it still well short of 1979 levels. Productivity growth should continue, particularly in those firms now being able to make more adequate use of their capacity. Overtime hours should pick up, though at a far slower rate than between 1980 and 1982. With service sector employment stabalising and no great change in the labour market supply expected over the next twelve months, the expected rise in unemployment is of the same magnitude as the fall in manufacturing employment. Thus, though there will be some pickup in the output of goods and services from Scotland, the labour market will continue to languish with no substantive improvement likely over the next twelve to eighteen months.