Outlook and appraisal [November 2015]

Ashcroft, Brian (2015) Outlook and appraisal [November 2015]. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 39 (2). pp. 3-31. ISSN 2046-5378

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Growth in both the Scottish and UK economies is slowing and in the second quarter a gap opened up between Scotland and the UK. The chained volume measure of GDP rose by 0.1% in Scotland in the quarter, while UK GDP rose by 0.7%. The latest Scottish data contain considerable revisions from the previously published data, and one worry is whether the growth gap is genuine or will be revised away in subsequent quarters. However, despite what some prominent commentators have said about the latest GDP data providing a different picture from other Scottish data, we think that the data do tend to show an absolute and relative – to the UK – slowdown in the growth of the Scottish economy. Growth in the UK economy is slowing too. The preliminary estimate for UK GDP in the third quarter was 0.5%, with growth weakening from the 0.7% attained in the second quarter. Growth in the world economy is also forecast by the IMF to be weaker this year than last but is expected to pick up again next year.