Scotland’s economy shrank in December as coronavirus restrictions took hold, new figures show.
Provisional statistics released by the Scottish Government on Wednesday show a 0.3% fall in gross domestic product (GDP), when compared to November.
The tiered system of restrictions was put in place in early November, shaving 1.5% off GDP during that month.
While the contraction appears to have continued into December, the Scottish Government was forced to place mainland Scotland into lockdown from Boxing Day, which forced all non-essential retail and hospitality to close.
GDP now sits at 7.2% below last February, the last period not impacted by some level of coronavirus restrictions.
But, over the final quarter of last year, Scotland’s economy actually grew by 1.6%, a significant drop from the 15.8% increase in the third quarter.
Economy Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Our economy has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Both Scotland and UK have seen record falls in GDP over 2020 but that is not surprising as large parts of the economy were required to close to protect lives.
“The most recent data shows Scotland’s economy increased by 1.6% in the final quarter of last year, compared to 1.0% across the UK.
“However, combined with the huge economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, this remains an extremely tumultuous time for the economy and jobs.
“We will continue to press the UK Government to ensure key support packages, such as the furlough scheme and VAT relief, are kept in place for as long as is needed.”
She added: “We are using all the powers we have to rebuild a stronger, more resilient and sustainable economy for Scotland – with a laser focus on creating new, good, green jobs.”
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