Scotland has second-highest growth in UK, analysis suggests

Scotland’s economic growth in 2018 was the second-highest of any UK region, with only London growing more, according to academic estimates.

Although the UK’s economy grew by just 1.4% in 2018 – its lowest rate in six years – Scotland’s economic growth of 1.7% meant it bucked the national tend, new estimates show.

Regional estimates, by academics at the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence, suggest Scottish growth was up from 1.6% on 2017, while average UK growth fell from 1.8% in the previous year.

SNP MSP Gordon Macdonald welcomed the figures and said: “This analysis shows that the fundamentals of the Scottish economy are strong.

“With economic growth rising in Scotland and falling elsewhere across the UK, Tory claims that Scotland is somehow uncompetitive have been thoroughly debunked.

“But Brexit continues to be an enormous threat to jobs and businesses across Scotland – and the public will be concerned at the complete lack of clarity this close to leaving the EU.

“The SNP in government are offering stability and certainty through our budget which supports jobs and businesses.

“The UK Government must do the same by ruling out a no-deal Brexit that would be economically disastrous.”

London continues to far outperform the rest of the UK, with estimated growth of 2.9% in 2018.

In addition to Scotland, the North West, South West and East Midlands saw growth estimates for 2018 slightly higher than the UK as a whole.

Substantially behind the UK average were Wales, Northern Ireland and the East of England.