Scotland's export performance : a closer look

Cox, Mark and Walker, Jim (1987) Scotland's export performance : a closer look. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 12 (4). pp. 63-66. ISSN 0306-7866

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Perhaps the most interesting finding of the Scottish Council's surveys of Scottish manufactured exports in recent years has been the fact that Scotland consistently and significantly outperforms the rest of the United Kingdom in terms of exports per employee. As this article shows, since 1980 Scotland has averaged a 9.8% share of UK manufactured exports with an average share of UK manufacturing employees of only 8.1%. To express Scotland's apparent superiority in manufactured exports another way, the Scottish Council's latest estimates, for the year 1985, suggest that exports per employee in manufacturing in Scotland were worth £13,290, compared with a figure of £10,525 per manufacturing employee elsewhere in the UK. The purpose of this article is to consider how much satisfaction can be gained from these figures and, more especially, to identify areas of strength and weakness in Scottish manufacturing industry in terms of export performance.