Scotland business

Scotland's economy grew by 0.3% over the summer

turbines being moved into place

The Scottish economy avoided recession earlier this year, according to new government figures.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for July to September show the economy grew by 0.3%, with this partly credited due to an increase in electricity output.

This was in contrast to a drop of 0.2% in the previous three months.

Two consecutive quarters of contraction would have met economists' definition of recession.

Over the 12 months to September, GDP in Scotland increased by 0.7% - less than the 1% growth experienced by the UK as a whole.

Much of Scotland's GDP increase was due to increased electricity output, which increasingly depends on wind speeds.

It was up nearly 6% in July to September, after two flat quarters and a 5% dip in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Also growing during the summer were finance and business services, which together account for 29% of the Scottish economy.

Construction was flat, and the dominant service sector, covering more than three-quarters of the economy, grew by 0.2%.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The production sector grew by 0.9% between July and September, GDP figures show

CBI Scotland director Tracy Black said: "While it's good to see that Scottish GDP growth recovered following a contraction in the second quarter, underlying momentum remains weak.

"Going forward, the Scottish and UK governments need to work together, using every lever at their disposal, to stimulate growth and generate prosperity that benefits everyone in society."

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said the pace of economic growth had slowed as a result of the "continued uncertainty around Brexit".

He added: "While it is good news the economy has grown in the last quarter, it is unsurprising the overall pace of growth has slowed as a result of the continued uncertainty around Brexit.

"Scotland has a strong economic foundation with a lower unemployment rate than the UK and we will continue to do all we can to stimulate growth, jobs and investment, and help build economic resilience.

"However, Brexit remains the biggest threat to our economy."

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: "It is encouraging the Scottish economy has grown in the last quarter but I am concerned it continues to lag behind UK-wide figures over the last year.

"The UK government is working hard to ensure that Scotland and every part of the UK grows and prospers. Getting Brexit done by agreeing the prime minister's deal by 31 January, putting this uncertainty behind us, will be good for Scotland's businesses, farmers and fishermen."

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