Following The Scottish Government's announcement on 5 July 2017 of the latest GDP Statistics noting that the Scottish economy grew by 0.8% during the first quarter of 2017, Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, commented:

"While the return to growth reported in these latest statistics is welcome, SCDI still sees fragility in the overall economy.

"The global picture has been challenging, especially for some key sectors of the Scottish economy. Signs of an upturn for those sectors and others is positive, but if growth is to be sustained the biggest issue is tackling weak productivity. The latest figures for the UK, also published today, show a 0.5% fall in UK labour productivity re-emphasise this point.

"SCDI is looking in more depth at the detail underlying growth figures and will be taking soundings from members around the sharp uptick in some sectors to understand what the drivers behind it are.

"We need to mould our economic behaviour and policy to take advantage of improvements such as that reported today but be mindful that strategic policy should target actions which will build a stronger and more sustainable economy. We will work with industry and government to identify what we can, and should, do to create more prosperity for the good of business and society." 

The National Statistics Publication for Scotland GDP 2017 Q1 Documents (5 July 2017) can be accessed here.

SCDI received a high-level briefing on Friday 30 June 2017 from the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) following publicaton of their latest quarterly Economic Commentary Report, and has jointly launched a plan with the FAI to bring forward a strategic response to the challenges outlined. SCDI will convene an informed and focussed response from its membership and wider civic Scotland, drawn from across the public, private and social economy sectors.

The data presented by Fraser of Allander confirmed that whilst many changes in the country's fortunes have been positive, many significant high-level challenges remain, including:

  • Scottish economic growth has stagnated in 2016
  • The number of Scots who are economically inactive has risen by 60,000
  • The rise in GDP/head over the decade to 2016 has been 1.2%, whilst the equivalent rise between 1999 and 2006 was 17%.

SCDI believes that a cross-sectoral and strategic approach is required to address these weaknesses in the Scottish economy, and it will be formulating a strategic response through its membership and more widely.

You can read more here.