Slightly later than usual, here are our monthly nowcasts of the Scottish economy, covering the first two quarters of 2018.
Our model suggests that:
- GVA growth in 2018 Q1 was 0.29%, or at an annual rate 1.18%
- GVA growth in 2018 Q2 is 0.29%, or at an annual rate 1.16%
Next month the Scottish Government will release official estimates covering the first three months of 2018, against which we can compare our Q1 estimate.
By way of comparison, UK GDP growth in Q1 was only 0.1%. If our nowcasts are correct, this would be substantially weaker than growth in Scotland over the same period.
Similarly, if our nowcasts are accurate, it would also mean that the economy has realised nearly half of the growth that the Scottish Fiscal Commission recently forecast for 2018 as a whole (they estimate growth over the year of 0.7%).
0.3% growth in the first three months of 2018 is nothing to write home about, but it would be better than the UK in the same period, and better than many might be expecting.
Next week the Fraser Economic Commentary, supported by Deloitte, is released. This will contain updated forecasts for the Scottish economy for 2018 and beyond. It will also look in more detail about what the various survey and data releases tell us about the health of the Scottish economy.
With Scottish GDP data out tomorrow, this blog provides a (very!) quick and brief update on our latest estimates of recent and current Scottish GDP:
- Our nowcast for GVA growth in 2017Q4 is 0.32% which, at an annual rate, is 1.28%
- Our nowcast for GVA growth in 2018Q1 is 0.36% which, at an annual rate, is 1.43%
We will see how close our point estimate is to the data for 2017 Q4 released tomorrow.
Meanwhile, for the interested reader, the chart below summarises the first release, latest release, and average nowcast estimate for Scottish GDP since 2014.
We can see that while our model does not generate estimates with the same volatility as the official GVA series, nevertheless, there is a clear consistency to the trend observed in all three series. We can also see that the revisions which take place to the GDP estimates can be substantial (e.g. Q1 2014, or Q2 2016).
Similarly, as the chart below shows, our average nowcast estimate over this same period is very close to the average initial release estimate for Scottish GDP over this period, suggesting that -on average- our model has been reasonably good at estimating changes in Scottish GDP.
With official estimates of economic growth in Scotland due out next month, we have produced updated estimates of economic growth in Scotland using our nowcasting model for Q4 2017 and Q1 2018.
These estimate that:
- GVA growth in 2017 Q4 is 0.36% which, at an annual rate, is 1.47%
- GVA growth in 2018 Q1 is 0.34% which, at an annual rate, is 1.38%
Relative to our estimates from last month, these suggest a slight improvement in our estimate for Q4 (up from 1.25%), and very little change in our estimate for Q1 2018 (which was 1.4%).
Last month saw the release of official data on the performance of the Scottish economy in the 3rd quarter of 2017, and confirmed weak headline growth of 0.15%. This month we’ve run our nowcasting model to provide our estimates of economic growth in the Scottish economy in the final quarter of 2017 (2017 Q4) and our first estimates of growth in the current quarter (2018 Q1). We will receive official estimates of growth in 2017 Q4 in a couple of months.
Our latest nowcasts for:
- GVA growth in 2017 Q4 is 0.31% which, at an annual rate, is 1.25%. This is down a bit from our last estimate at the start of January (which was 1.42%).
- GVA growth in 2018 Q1 is 0.35% which, at an annual rate, is 1.40%. This is our first nowcast for this quarter.