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Outlook and appraisal [March 1998]

Ashcroft, Brian (1998) Outlook and appraisal [March 1998]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 23 (2). i-vi. ISSN 0306-7866

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The Scottish economy is at a turning point. For once this is literally true. The evidence of the Deloitte & Touche Scottish Chambers' Business Survey (DTSCBS) for the fourth quarter suggests that the economy may have reached a cyclical peak during the last three months of 1997. After six years of recovery and expansion this should come as no surprise. All mixed-market economies experience a cyclical pattern with the duration from peak to peak and trough to trough being on average about five years. The Institute, along with other independent forecasters, has forecast for some time that growth will slow in 1998 in line with the UK economy. Yet the evidence that a turning point has been reached is much less clear for Scotland than it is for the UK.