April nowcast update

With 29th of March now behind us, but with the uncertainty remaining rather than resolved, we have produced a new nowcast for the Scottish economy for Q1 2019.

Since our last nowcast in early March we have received official estimates of GDP growth in 2018 Q4. These place growth in Q4 at +0.3%, slightly ahead of UK growth in Q4 of 0.2%.

This is in line with our last nowcast for Q4 2018 which put growth at 0.29%.

Services growth again outpaced the overall economy with growth of 0.5% in Q4 of 2018, but production sector growth was down -0.9% for the second quarter in a row.

These latest official data put overall growth in Scotland in 2018 at 1.4%, still significantly below long-run trend growth.

Turning to growth in Q1 2019, our latest estimate puts growth at 0.31%, or at an annualised rate 1.26%.

One reason for this is that consumer and business confidence remains low.

We will set out some scenarios for different Brexit scenarios in the next Fraser Economic Commentary.

These will consider how any resolution to the political and economic uncertainty around Brexit – and any likely policy response – might impact on economic outcomes over the forecast horizon.

We will continue to produce monthly nowcasts to seek to identify any movements in quarterly growth rates.