Enterprise Minister Jim Mather has renewed calls for Scottish fiscal autonomy following the release of the latest Scottish retail figures.
The Scottish Retail Sector continued to grow into the third quarter of 2010 – and outperformed the GB sector over the year – according to provisional estimates released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.
Third quarter figures published today show:
The volume of retail sales in Scotland grew 0.6 per cent during quarter three compared with the previous quarter, and by 2.9 per cent over the year. The volume of retail sales in GB grew by 1.2 per cent during quarter three and 2.4 per cent over the year.
The value of retail sales in Scotland grew by 1.1 per cent during quarter three compared with the previous quarter, and 4.2 per cent over the year. The value of retail sales in GB grew by 1.2 per cent during quarter three and 3.1 per cent over the year.
Mr Mather said:
“Today’s figures show that despite continuing financial pressures, consumer confidence is growing and people are continuing to support Scotland’s retailers – which is making an important contribution to strengthening the recovery.
“The annual percentage rise in both the volume and value of retail sales was higher in Scotland than the rest of GB – demonstrating that the Scottish Government’s robust action to support businesses and strengthen growth through the delivery of our Economic Recovery Plan, is making a difference.
“We are absolutely committed to continuing our robust action – which is why we made economic recovery a priority in last year’s budget, and will do so again in the plans we bring forward for next year.”
Mr Mather renewed the SNP’s calls for more fiscal powers for Scotland arguing they were needed in order to continue the growth in the Scottish economy and protect jobs
Mr Mather added:
“The recovery has been put under threat by 1.3 billion pounds in Westminster cuts for next year that are too quick and too deep – and which underline the urgent need for Scotland to secure economic powers and financial responsibility so that the Scottish Government and Parliament have all the tools needed to boost recovery and growth.”
The Retail Sales Index for Scotland provides an indication of economic growth for around five per cent of the Scottish economy. This index constitutes a component series of the Scottish Quarterly GDP publication. While these figures can be interpreted as an early indication of consumer confidence for quarter three, caution should be exercised in generalising to a wider economic interpretation.