The latest figures released by Scotland’s chief statistician have shown that the country’s economy shrank in the last three months of 2011.
The official figures show that the GDP fell back by 0.1%, though this was better than the national average, which shrank by 0.3%.
Over the course of the whole year though, the Scottish economy did grow by 0.5%.
Analysing the figures by industry shows that the best performance was from the service sector, which grew by 0.4%. The worst performance was seen in the construction sector, which saw an annual fall of 1.5%, and a particularly poor final quarter.
A figure which surprised many was that the total value of Scottish exports remained flat.
In recent months, exports of food and drink in particular have seen significant increases, with many companies able to grow through boosting finances with invoice factoring.
However, significant falls in the export of chemicals and refined petroleum have countered this.
Though commercial finance in Scotland is benefiting from asset based lending, the First Minister Alex Salmond is eager to increase capital spending to help the recovery.
Saying he would be writing to the PM David Cameron, Mr Salmond said that now was:
“exactly the right time to re-present the compelling case for additional infrastructure investment to build sustained recovery.”
The results show that there is still much to be done to stabilise the country’s economy and that Holyrood and Westminster will need to maintain their efforts.
However, it also shows that for those able to take advantage, there are still opportunities out there.