Scottish economy shrinks while the rest of the UK grows

Economics will play a key role in the debate if a new Independence referendum is called...

Scottish economy shrinks while the rest of the UK grows

Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

Figures for the final quarter of 2016 show that the Scottish economy contracted by 0.2% during the three-month period.

This contrasted with 0.7% growth recorded across the UK as a whole.

The data comes as Scotland continues to push for a second independence referendum before the UK formally leaves the EU.

Contested

Derek Mackay, Scotland's SNP finance secretary said, "What is now quite clear is the economic reality of the Brexit vote."

"We have already seen significantly lower consumer confidence in Scotland since the vote last summer. Now we see that feeding through into our growth figures," he continued.

Andrew Dunlop, the UK's Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland had a different interpretation: "The simplest way to provide more certainty for people and businesses across Scotland would be to take a second independence referendum off the table," he said, criticising the latest Scottish push for a fresh referendum.

During 2016 the UK's economy grew by 1.8% while Scotland's expanded by just 0.4%.

This fall-off came as both construction and oil production slowed in the region.