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Scotland reports 3.4% drop in first-quarter output

18 Jun 20 Output in Scotland’s construction sector contracted by -3.4% in the first quarter of this year when coronavirus was starting to have an effect.

Scotland’s GDP fell by 2.5% during the period from January to March, according to new statistics announced today by the Chief Statistician. Compared to the first quarter of 2019, the economy contracted by 2.3%.

Construction’s 3.4% drop compares to contractions of -3.3% in production and 2.2% in the services sector.

New monthly GDP statistics have also been published for the first time. These are being developed by the Scottish government to help track the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and are badged as experimental statistics, rather than national statistics.

The new statistics show that Scotland’s GDP is provisionally estimated to have fallen by 18.9% during April, after a fall of 5.0% in March. This indicates the direct economic impact of Covid-19 in Scotland during the first weeks and full month of the lockdown phase.

During the first quarter as a whole, and in the latest months, output has fallen in nearly every industry sector. The industries with the largest falls in output over the latest two months are those that have been required to close or where working at home is not possible.  

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