Monday, 14 April 2003

Is Scotland's economy a basket case?

Well, perhaps it isn't. A fascinating article in the Sunday Herald suggests not:
Between 1963 and 2001, the Scottish economy grew by 2.1% a year on average (UK 2.4%). Between 1983 and 2001, it grew by 2.2% (UK 2.6%).
That is much closer than had previously been thought.

And what about oil?

Furthermore, each of these comparative UK figures includes the output of oil and gas from the UK continental shelf. The Scottish figures do not. Take oil out altogether and between 1963 and 2001 the Scottish economy grew by 2.1% a year, while the UK managed 2.2% on average.
When the figures are adjusted for population movements we get an even better result:
When that further adjustment is made, he calculates, average annual Scottish growth actually outstrips the UK in the 1963-2001 and 1973-2001 timeframes, by 2.1% to 2% and by 1.7% to 1.6%, respectively. Only in the 1981-2001 period does the UK come out top, but only by 2.4% to 2.3%
I wonder how well we would do if our politicians actually supported pro-growth policies.