April 2016 Scottish Economy Nowcasts

Today (1st April 2016) we release our latest series of nowcasts of the Scottish economy; these are our revised estimate of the growth in 2015 Q4 and 2016 Q1 [1].

Headlines:

  • 2016 Q1 GDP growth in Scotland, at an annualised rate, is nowcast to be 1.39%, the quarterly change is nowcast to be 0.35%
  • 2015 Q4 GDP growth in Scotland, at an annualised rate, is nowcast to be 1.33%, the quarterly change is nowcast to be 0.33%

These nowcasts represent a continued downward revision for 2015 Q4 and 2016 Q1.

Once again we are seeing a further weakening of our own estimates of economic growth in Scotland which raises the prospect that the Scottish economy may well have contracted in Q4 of 2015 and is well under performing trend growth rates in 2016 so far.

2015 Q4 estimates from the Scottish Government are due to be released on Wednesday 6th April 2015, this will provide the first official estimate of growth in this quarter and for 2015 as a whole, but expectations are that these will confirm Scotland’s continued economic under performance related to the UK as a whole.

We have noted in a number of recent posts about the trend of continuing weak growth in Scotland. While we have noted a number of reasons for this, the most worrying aspect of this is the absence of any sustained response or evidence that the end of this downward spiral might be in sight.

For details of how the data mentioned above, and other “live” data on Scottish economic activity are used to construct our “nowcasts”, see the Methodology page.


[1] Note as explained in the methodological paper (here), we nowcast gross value added (GVA) rather than gross domestic product (GDP), because this is the regional equivalent of GDP which is produced, but we refer here to GDP for intuitive ease.