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Forecasts of the Scottish economy [June 2015]

Allan, Grant (2015) Forecasts of the Scottish economy [June 2015]. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 39 (1). pp. 27-37. ISSN 2046-5378

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Abstract

The latest figures on economic growth in Scotland confirm that the Scottish economy grew by 2.7% during 2014: the fastest annual rate of growth since 2006. Recent evidence supports the view that much of the growth during 2014 was however from increases in household consumption, although there were signs of much welcomed growth in investment (largely from public infrastructure projects). Surveys point to a slowing of growth in the first half of 2015, while the extent to which growth will be sustained through 2016 and 2017 is critically dependent on the return of stronger real wage growth and an easing of household debt to income ratios, and the measures announced in the UK Government budget in July (and the outcomes of progress of further powers to the Scottish parliament). On the back of recent evidence, we have slightly revised down our forecasts for growth in 2015 and 2016 by 0.1 percentage points since March. Critically, Scottish export performance remains weak, and the possibility of fundamental change in the Eurozone driven by the outcome of Greek debt discussions - which are coming to a head at the time of writing - will be critical for the external economic environment facing Scotland in the short and medium term.