New figures showing GDP grew by 4.7% in the latest quarter as lockdown restrictions were eased.
The Finance and Economy Secretary, Kate Forbes, said the data showed that Scotland’s economy was “continuing its recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the three months of April to June 2021, GDP was 21.7% higher than it had been for the same period in 2020, during which the impacts of Covid-19 and lockdown were at their worst.
In the most recent quarter the services sector grew by 5.2%, while output in the production sector was up 3.5% with a rise of 3.3% in construction.
The 4.7% growth in the economy as a whole was slightly lower than that experienced across the UK, where GDP increased by 4.8% over the period April to June 2021.
Ms Forbes said the figures were “a tribute to the adaptability and resilience shown by so many businesses during the pandemic”.
She added: “It is clear to see the growth in the second quarter reflects the removal of lockdown restrictions, increased mobility and the acceleration of the vaccination programme.”
Ms Forbes stressed the need for “fair and sustained economic growth”, pledging the Scottish Government would bring forward a 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation this autumn.
This, she said, “will build on our green economic recovery, prioritise investment in the industries of the future and deliver new, good and green jobs”.
The Economy Secretary warned: “The pandemic is not over. Challenges remain and some sectors such as retail, tourism and hospitality still face obstacles on the road to recovery.
“But this GDP estimate clearly shows that Scotland’s economy is continuing its recovery from the global pandemic as we work with business and trades unions to build a greener, fairer and more prosperous economy with wellbeing at its core.”
Similarly, the Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, said while the latest GDP figures “indicate that we are moving in the right direction” there are “still challenges ahead as we prioritise a strong, sustainable recovery”.
He stated: “The UK Government introduced an unprecedented package of support to get us through the pandemic.
“Now, with the focus on our Plan For Jobs, we are helping people in all parts of the United Kingdom get back to work, building back better and stronger thanks to the huge success of the UK-Government funded vaccine programme.
“All this comes on top of the additional £14.5billion funding provided to the Scottish Government and £1.5 billion invested in growth deals across Scotland with our new Levelling Up and Community Renewal Funds set to benefit communities right across the UK.”
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