SCOTLAND’S financial system shrank by virtually a fifth within the second quarter of the yr because the coronavirus lockdown hammered companies in all sectors.
Official Scottish Authorities figures confirmed gross home product fell 19.4 per cent in actual phrases between April and June.
UK-wide GDP contracted by 20.4% in the identical quarter.
In Scotland, the development sector contracted by 41.5%, the dominant providers sector by 18.7%, and manufacturing by 15.7%.
The stoop, on prime of a 2.5% contraction within the first quarter of the yr, means the Scottish financial system is now 21.1% smaller than it was presently in 2019.
The UK financial system contraction for the yr is 21.7%.
The Scottish Authorities stated the largest contributor to the autumn in GDP in Q2 was the closure of enormous components of the providers sector, which accounts for three-quarters of the financial system.
This consists of enterprise providers and finance, authorities, transport, tourism, hospitality and retail.
Andrew McRae of the Federation of Small Companies in Scotland stated: “By forcing hundreds of companies to close up store, we slammed the handbrake on the Scottish financial system.
“These unsurprising statistics present the extent of the slowdown.
“These corporations that did the precise factor now want the assist policymakers to see them by way of to the restoration. That possible means no new pressures on enterprise and ongoing assist for corporations nonetheless going through commerce restrictions.
“The very last thing that Scottish corporations want is one other sea change in buying and selling situations. That’s why negotiators must agree a small business-friendly EU UK commerce deal rapidly. Many operators merely don’t have the reserves to deal with one other disaster.”
SNP Financial system Secretary Fiona Hyslop known as for Holyrood to have extra powers over taxation, spending and borrowing to deal with the financial restoration from Covid.
She stated: “The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a particularly severe affect on the financial system proper throughout the UK and Scotland isn’t any exception.
“Now we have labored arduous to guard Scotland’s financial system and be certain that as many individuals as attainable preserve their jobs and that is backed by a bundle of assist to companies that totals over £2.3 billion.
“Regardless of these efforts, the winding down of the UK Authorities’s furlough scheme will put much more jobs in danger – with over 217,000 folks nonetheless furloughed in Scotland – and we stay disillusioned the UK Authorities has declined to increase the Job Retention Scheme past October.
“It’s now important that the Scottish Parliament is granted the extra powers it must correctly handle the response to the disaster as we transfer in the direction of restoration.
“It is usually the case that the very last thing our companies want is additional financial turmoil because of a no-deal Brexit. That’s the reason we now have repeated our requires the UK Authorities to agree an extension to the transition interval.”
Tory Scottish Secretary Alister Jack stated: “These figures proceed to point out the affect Coronavirus and lockdown has had on our financial system.
“The UK Authorities was fast to place measures in place to protect folks from the worst of the pandemic.
“Greater than 930,000 jobs in Scotland have been supported by way of the furlough and self-employment schemes, £2.3 billion loaned to Scottish companies and £6.5 billion extra funding given to the Scottish Authorities.
“Because the financial system re-opened in July, the UK Authorities has supplied focused assist the place it’s wanted probably the most with VAT lower for tourism, the vastly profitable Eat Out to Assist Out scheme for hospitality and complete Plan for Jobs to create new alternatives proper throughout the nation.
“We’re additionally doing every little thing we will to construct again higher our financial system, together with defending the important UK inner market which accounts for greater than 60 per cent of Scottish exports.”