Economic data for Scotland's unemployment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), released today by the Scottish Government, paints a mixed picture of the Scottish economy, with no growth in the first quarter of 2016 but a fall in unemployment during the period March - May 2016. Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, has called for a concerted Government response to Scotland's growth problems and swift clarification of the position of EU nationals working in the UK.
Liz Cameron said:
"Scotland's growth levels were 0% in the first three months of this year, having declined from the very shallow growth that we experienced at the end of last year. This remains well below the overall UK rate, which was 0.4% for the same period. Scotland's growth has now been at a fraction of that of the UK as a whole for a full year and there are few signs of a major improvement in sight. In the light of the EU referendum result, the Scottish and UK Governments must take all steps necessary to support businesses at this time and help them to invest for the future and get our economy back on the path of growth. This Autumn's Draft Scottish Budget and the Chancellor's Autumn Statement will be defining moments for our Governments as they redefine their economic strategies in response to Brexit."
On Scottish Unemployment:
"Scotland's unemployment levels fell by 18,000 in the three months to May, whilst our employment levels rose by 17,000 over the same period. This is very good news for the Scottish economy and demonstrates that businesses are continuing to display resilience and invest in talent. It also means that Scotland is once again narrowing the gap with the UK in terms of our performance on employment and unemployment. The latest figures also show that there are 2.15 million EU nationals working in the UK, and this is a clear reminder that our businesses need clear and timely information about their future status following the vote for the UK to leave the EU."