Cautious optimism as Scotland exits recession

The return to growth in the Scottish economy has been welcomed as grounds for cautious optimism in Scotland’s performance.

Latest figures released today show that Scottish GDP grew by 0.6% in the period from July to September 2012, despite the effects of the ‘Olympics bounce’ which boosted the equivalent UK figures likely to have been far weaker in Scotland.

Analysis by RBS Economic Insight attributed the food and drink sector to around half of the improvement in GDP growth for the quarter. Recent statistics showed that the value of food and drink exports from Scotland to overseas had increased by 52% between 2007 and 2011, reaching £5.4 billion in value.

Analysis by Professor Brian Ashcroft also shows that updated methodology used in the Scottish figures to bring them in to line with UK growth measurements show that Scotland’s economy had not in fact suffered as severely during the recession as previously believed.

Commenting, SNP Treasury Spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:

“This return to growth in Scotland’s economy is extremely welcome and reflects improved performance in the production and service sectors.

“With food and drink production having played a particularly important role in achieving this economic growth, it is certainly a vindication of the importance that the Scottish Government has placed on growing this sector since first coming to office in 2007.

“It is worth remembering that these growth figures were achieved without the Olympics boost which was widely considered to have helped secure the UK’s economic growth figure for the same period, so they are a particularly welcome achievement for the economy.

“The fact that these growth figures have been built on solid improvements to Scotland’s economy are certainly grounds for cautious optimism for the months ahead.

“There can be no room for complacency as times remain extremely difficult for many people across Scotland, but the fact that Scotland’s economy is moving in the right direction is something that is extremely welcome.”

Professor Brian Ashcroft’s conclusions on the latest Scottish GDP figures can be viewed at

RBS Economic Insights’ tweeted “Food, beverages & tobacco alone contributed 50% of #Scottish Q3#GDP growth. Scotland doesn't make ciggies so this is #whisky & food.”

The rise in Scottish food and drink exports can be viewed at