16th June 2021
Commenting on the Scottish Government’s first estimate of Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2021 Quarter 1 published today, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“These statistics indicate that the Scottish economy has contracted by 1.9% during the first quarter of this year and compared to the first quarter of 2020 has dipped significantly by 5.4%.
“Whilst these figures are concerning and disappointing, they simply confirm the damaging impact that the coronavirus pandemic and partial shutdown of the economy over this period had on many Scottish businesses.
“There are points of light in these figures, such as increases in Scotland’s construction and production sectors, however it is clear that Scotland’s hospitality sector has been hardest hit and has borne the brunt of the restrictions over the winter months which paints a worrying picture for their ability to recover without greater support.
“Businesses want to see the economy re-opened with as few restrictions as possible. If government can deliver this, businesses will be able to rebuild confidence and increase economic activity in the second quarter of this year.
“The vaccination programme will be key to securing economic growth. Increased clarity on the re-opening of our economy and the eventual removal of restrictions, combined with continued financial support for businesses from the Scottish and U.K. Governments will propel business recovery and support a return to pre-pandemic economic output sooner.”