Fraser of Allander Institute : Economic Commentary [November 2010]

Fraser of Allander Institute; (2010) Fraser of Allander Institute : Economic Commentary [November 2010]. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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The Scottish and UK economies strengthened appreciably in their recovery from recession in the 2nd quarter of this year. Preliminary UK dat a for the 3rd quarter indicates some weakening but at 0.8% over the quarter growth exceeded expectations. Scottish GDP growth fell again in the first quarter, by -0.2%, and with zero growth in 2009q3 and 0.1% growth in the final quarter of 2009, there is a case for arguing that the Scottish economy did not emerge from recession until the 2010q2, two quarters after the UK. The Scottish economy went into recession one quarter later than the UK. The fall in Scottish GDP during the 'recession' to 2010q1 was therefore -5. 81% compared to a fall of -6.32% during the recession in the UK, still less severe than the UK. But with growth of 1.3% in the 2010q2, compared to 1.2% in the UK, the Scottish bounce back was considerable. However, there is reason to believe that an unsustainable bounce back in construction and re-stocking were key reasons for the strength of the recovery in the second quarter which would tend to fade away in later quarters. The 0.8% preliminary estimate of UK 3rd quarter growth in part appeared to contradict that assumption, but construction growth remained strong to the incredulity of many associated with the industry. We still await further data to ascertain the spending composition of the 3rd quarter UK growth rate and whether temporary re-stocking was still a principal driver, or whether there had been a pick-up in more sustainable export and investment growth.