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Economic policy must drive political agenda

Commenting on today’s release of official data which showed that the Scottish economy grew by 0.6% in the third quarter of 2014, Liz Cameron, Director/Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The latest GDP figures for Scotland show that in the third quarter of last year, Scotland’s economy grew by 0.6%.

This rise is in line with our expectations, and mirrors the results of SCC’s Quarterly Business Survey that indicated solid growth for the Scottish economy over Quarter 3, but to a lesser extent than the excellent growth figures observed in the previous two quarters (1% and 0.9%).

Scottish businesses still face challenging macro-economic conditions in the form of slow rates of growth and deflation in some of their major export markets in Europe, and coupled with the negative impacts of a sustained fall in the price of brent crude oil on the oil & gas sector, the Scottish economy is doing well to maintain levels of solid growth.

The Quarter 3 figures show that for the first time in 2014 Scottish GDP has risen more slowly than the rest of the UK as a whole and that the production sector contracted by 0.7%. This is a stark reminder that the UK and Scottish Governments must continue to do all they can to ensure businesses in Scotland are equipped to not only compete domestically, but with the rest of the UK and in international markets.

We are all about to enter a political cycle with the general election on our doorstep, but these figures indicate that we need to ensure that the costs of doing business is at the top of the political agendas. If governments want growth and increased revenues to fund public sector services, then only business can achieve this.”