Scotland

Scotland's economy grows by 0.1%

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Scotland's economic growth slowed to 0.1% between April and the end of June, the latest official figures show.

The GDP (gross domestic product) figures for the second quarter were down from the 0.6% growth at the start of 2017.

Scotland's first quarter figures were above the equivalent rate for the UK as a whole (0.2%).

However, the second quarter was below the UK rate, which was 0.3%.

Changes in GDP are the main indicator of economic growth in Scotland.

'Fragile' growth

The latest figures showed the service sector, the largest part of Scotland's economy, grew by 0.7%.

However, output in the production sector fell by 0.7%, and the construction sector dropped by 3.5%.

Year-on-year growth for Scotland's economy was 0.5%, behind the equivalent UK growth of 1.5%.

The figures also showed that GDP per person, which shows economic growth after taking population changes into account, grew by 0.1% in the second quarter, in line with the UK as a whole.

Prof Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, said the figures continued to show how "fragile" growth was in the Scottish economy.

'More modest'

He said economic growth had been 0.1% or lower in five of the past six quarters.

The Scottish government's Economy Secretary Keith Brown said continued growth was "good news".

Mr Brown said the growth was "more modest" than he would like but he was pleased to see the figures for industries linked to the oil and gas supply chain and the service sector.

The SNP MSP said the single biggest threat to Scotland's economy remained the lack of clarity from the UK government over Brexit.

The UK government's Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the Scottish economy was growing at a "far slower rate" than he would like and it still "lags behind that of the rest of the UK".

'Erratic economy'

The Tory MP said: "The Scottish government needs to use the considerable levers they have to increase Scotland's prosperity."

Scottish Labour's economy spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the GDP figures were "anything but good news".

She accused the Scottish government of "complacency" as the Scottish economy remained "on the cliff edge of recession".

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the Scottish government were "presiding over an erratic economy".

Andy Willox, from the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, called the figures "lacklustre".

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