Proving that Scotland did not suffer a double-dip recession, official figures have shown that the country’s economy is 1.2 per cent better off than it was at the same time last year.
In the initial three months of 2013, the economy improved by 0.4 per cent. This is marginally better than the UK average of 0.3 per cent.
However, whilst sectors such as production and services are on the rise, many are still struggling. Most notably, the construction industry suffered a 2.5 per cent contraction. Catering, distribution and hotels also saw contractions of around one per cent.
The news will come as a blow to the sectors, with most firms expecting their fortunes to change as slight improvements have been seen on the whole. Many companies are in a better shape than they ever been, however, with invoice factoring facilities being introduced to improve financial strategies.
There was better news in the service sector, which is Scotland’s biggest economic contributor. Accounting for more than 72 per cent of the country’s economy, finance and insurance activities grew by five per cent.
Welcoming the “tentative recovery” of the economy, the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland (FSB) said:
“To accelerate growth, the FSB urges the UK government to take action to tackle rising overheads, such as the cost of finance, fuel and utilities, which our members say pose real barriers to their growth and success.”
It also took the opportunity to urge Westminster to better direct public spending to underpin efforts at strengthening local recoveries.