Outlook and appraisal [March 2016]

Ashcroft, Brian (2016) Outlook and appraisal [March 2016]. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 39 (3). pp. 3-30. ISSN 2046-5378

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Growth in the Scottish economy in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of last year almost halted, with an outturn of 0.1% in each quarter. The main reason for the slowdown is the low price of oil, which appears to be having a pervasive net negative effect on Scotland’s economic growth leading to a widening of the gap between growth in Scotland and growth in the UK. On the latest data, the Scottish economy has now enjoyed positive growth for the last 12 quarters (since 2012q3) while in the UK the sustained recovery period has been slightly shorter at 11 quarters from 2012q4. However, the UK recovery from the Great Recession has overall been stronger than in Scotland. UK GDP (ex oil & gas) now stands 7.1% above the pre-recession peak compared to only 3.1% in Scotland.