The Scottish economy has grown for the 8th consecutive quarter according to official figures.
The latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures show the Scottish economy grew by 1.3% over the last year and 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018, higher than the UK rate of 0.2%.
Forecasts by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) say that, amongst the 12 nations and regions of the UK, in 2019 Scotland’s economic growth will be higher than all but the South East of England.
In addition, this month’s Office of National Statistics figures for November 2018 to January 2019, showed that Scotland’s employment rate rose to 75.3%, close to the highest on record.
Unemployment rate fell yet again, to 3.4%, another record low and below the rest of the UK.
Economy Secretary Derek Mackay MSP said:
“With eight consecutive quarters of growth and record low unemployment, Scotland’s economy continues to go from strength to strength.
“Growing our economy and supporting businesses and jobs is a top priority for the SNP Government. We have provided more than £5 billion of capital investment to grow and modernise Scotland’s infrastructure, and a wider package of support to businesses, including maintaining a competitive business rates package and providing the most generous package of non-domestic rates reliefs anywhere in the UK.
“However, Brexit remains the biggest threat to our economic stability. All forms of Brexit will cost jobs, make people poorer, damage our society and undermine the democratic decision of the people of Scotland to remain in the EU.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“The SNP Government is protecting and supporting businesses and it is heartening that in the face of ongoing UK Government cuts to the Scottish Budget and the threat of leaving the EU, the Scottish economy continues to grow.
“We will continue to work hard to grow and support our economy through the uncertain times ahead, so that Scotland can remain an open European nation, preferably inside the world’s largest single market.”