The effects of Iraq on the Scottish economy

Taylor, Richard (1990) The effects of Iraq on the Scottish economy. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 16 (2). pp. 88-90. ISSN 0306-7866

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    There seems to be something of a consensus around that the Scottish economy has been performing better than the UK average over the past twelve months or so, is still doing so, and may well go on doing so for a little while yet. This view is reinforced by nearly all the indicators we can lay our hands on - total output, manufacturing output, employment and unemployment, high street sales, property prices. It is of course difficult to pick out where exactly we are at the moment, or when a turning point is or even if it has been reached. Numbers of the available indicators are lagging ones, and nearly all of them are notoriously out of date. But the weight of evidence supports the relative buoyancy view. Our own internally-generated information, which may be rather more timely, also gives support to this view, however. Each month we survey our regions, to get a feel for what is happening in each area. It has been clear that, for some months now, the slowdown has really been biting south of the border. Starting in London and the South East, and gradually spreading outwards, the reports have been of slowdown, downturn and difficulty in many sectors. By contrast, Scotland has remained much more optimistic. Recently some indications of a change in tone can be discerned, but the Scottish reports are only now saying what we heard from England nine months ago. Given this, what can we expect as a consequence of the Iraqi takeover of Kuwait?