Scottish economy sees longest uninterrupted growth since 2001

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Scotland’s economy saw its eleventh quarter of expansion at the start of 2015, marking its longest period of uninterrupted growth since 2001.

The State of the Economy report, published by the Scottish Government’s chief economist, found that there has been continuous growth over the last three years, despite challenging conditions and, as a result, demonstrates the “resilience” of the country’s economy.

Record high levels of employment, low levels of unemployment and evidence that real wages are rising have combined with increasing house prices, growing consumer confidence and low inflation to boost household incomes and spending, with a positive effect on the economy.

The report notes that these are despite the “internal and external challenges” Scotland is facing, including the tightening of budgets, the impact of low oil prices, and lessening demand in global export markets, alongside the strength of the pound.

It also highlights that data and estimates are pointing to a positive outlook for the remainder of the year, with independent forecasters estimating growth of around 2.4% in the Scottish economy over 2015. So far this year, the first three months of 2015 showed quarterly growth of 0.6%.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The most recent figures for this year show all main sectors of the economy recorded growth and our programme of investment in public infrastructure is paying off, helping support a particularly strong performance in the construction sector. The benefits from this investment will underpin future growth in the Scottish economy and is the appropriate response in order to support and grow the economy rather than the UK Government programme of austerity.

“Although Scotland has not been immune to the global economic challenges over the last few years and there is undoubtedly still work to be done, these figures show our economy’s underlying resilience – with positive trends apparent in both employment and investment levels.

“Just last week we also saw youth employment reach highs not seen since 2005 and the lowest youth unemployment level and rate since 2008.

“The Scottish Government remains committed to building a fairer, more sustainable, and more resilient economy, translating into real opportunities for business and added security for workers and families.”

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