Official figures show that Scotland has fallen back into recession. The so-called ‘double-dip’ follows just weeks after the UK as a whole fell back.
The news comes in official figures, which show that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell in the first three months of the year. From January to March, GDP fell by 0.1 per cent.
This follows a fall of 0.1 per cent in GDP in the previous quarter – the final quarter of 2011. Two months consecutive economic contracting is what defines a recession.
The main reason for the overall fall at the start of 2012 was the continued issues faced by the construction industry. Output in the sector fell by nearly seven per cent.
According to the Scottish Building Federation, this now means that the sector has seen its sixth consecutive quarterly fall.
Tempering this slightly were the services and production sectors. Here, growth was seen of 0.2 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.
There has been further bad news for the country’s firms though.
The most recent Scottish Retail Consortium figures show sales continue to remain slow. Furthermore, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce predicted that business owners fear economic struggles will be seen for some time in its latest Business Survey.
However, many companies are using opportunities well. Whether through private investment or strategies such as invoice factoring, there are acquisitions and expansions which are boosting employment.
For the fourth consecutive month, unemployment in the country fell. This leaves the jobless rate in Scotland at just eight per cent.