Official figures have revealed that the Scottish economy grew in the last quarter of 2012, bucking the national decline.
The figures show that the economy grew by 0.5 per cent, compared to a 0.3 per cent UK-wide contraction in the same period.
The figures have surprised, and been welcomed by many; including the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC). The chief executive of the SCC, Liz Cameron, said:
“The news that Scotland’s economy grew strongly for the second consecutive quarter is extremely welcome and is in contrast to the more gloomy figures for the UK as a whole.”
The figures show that output was boosted in the period, with the production sector seeing a rise of more than one per cent. Professional services output also rose, by three per cent. Most encouraging though was a 0.4 per cent increase in construction output.
Having suffered from deep contractions throughout the economic downturn, construction has been one of worst hit sectors. Increased efforts by both Holyrood and Westminster have helped, whilst firms themselves have taken action.
Beleaguered by unpaid invoices, many have worked with factoring companies in Scotland to boost cash flow for example.
The figures were announced on the same day the Office for National Statistics revealed that 11,000 fewer people were out of work between December 2012 and February 2013 too.
However, both the SCC and the Confederation of British Industry’s warned that complacency and a lack of action being taken by firms could still undermine the recovery.