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Fraser of Allander Institute : Economic Commentary [September 2017]

Fraser of Allander Institute (2017) Fraser of Allander Institute : Economic Commentary [September 2017]. [Report]

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Abstract

The Scottish economy returned to growth in the first 3 months of 2017. The upturn was driven by a bounce back in a number of manufacturing sectors. These same sectors had been some of the hardest hit in recent times, so holding on to such gains will be a success in its own right. Scottish unemployment is now at its lowest rate since the Labour Force Survey was first collected back in 1992. But newly revised data published last month confirmed that the economy contracted – albeit marginally – in 2016. And growth over the year remains below trend. The latest leading indicators suggest that the economy continues to recover, albeit at a relatively fragile pace. The latest Fraser of Allander – Royal Bank of Scotland Scottish Business Monitor published in July showed both a rise in repeat business and in new orders. The latest surveys also show that some sectors – such as tourism – have had a relatively buoyant summer. However, households still appear wary of the economic outlook. Consumer confidence remains negative with Scottish households more concerned about the outlook than those in the UK.