Bank of Scotland forecasts quickening growth

07 November 2006
The rate of growth of Scotland's GDP will reach 2.8 per cent by August 2007 amid a rising annual rate, according to the Bank of Scotland.

"The pace of Scottish economic growth is set to accelerate in the final quarter of 2006 and into 2007", said the bank's group economist, Tim Crawford.

This accelerating growth will be underpinned by high business confidence, which has also driven a strong rise in demand for permanent staff, data from the bank's labour market report shows.

Business confidence will also draw on improved consumer spending since the lows experienced in August, Mr Crawford commented.

In September, the British Retail Consortium warned of a sharp slowdown in Scottish consumer spending, with like-for-like sales on 2005 down to 2.5 per cent from 3.4 in July.

Car sales were cited as particularly encouraging, with the first signs of a year-on-year rise in new car registrations since May 2004 highlighted by the Scottish Motor Trade Association.

The bank noted, however, that improved consumer confidence in September should be viewed against a longer-term background of negative overall 'consumer sentiment'.

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