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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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ENCOURAGING ECONOMIC INDICATORS FOR SCOTLAND

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

SCOTLAND HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO WEATHER RECESSION

Commenting on a range of publications that indicate some encouraging factors in the Scottish economy SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford said the statistics were grounds for hope and confidence that Scotland was well placed to come out the recession.

The following has been reported today by a range of organisations:

  • According to the latest survey data from Lloyds TSB, Scottish businesses are showing signs of coming out of recession by the end of the year. Whilst the private sector may still be shrinking, it is doing so at a slower pace, the bank's quarterly business monitor has found, and business bosses' expectations of activity over the next six months could move the economy back into growth.
  • A survey by the Scottish Retail Consortium found that Scotland’s retail sales continued to climb during August, with total sales increasing by 5.7%. This compares with total UK sales only up 3% compared to Scotland's 5.7%.
  • New Business Start-up Statistics from the Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers show that the number of businesses opening up new accounts has actually increased from the previous quarter. This is following falls in the previous three quarters.

Commenting Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Whilst the news on unemployment is something that obviously cannot be welcomed, these indicators coming are something that can be welcomed and offers real hope that Scotland can weather this recession and come out stronger.

“I am convinced that the Scottish Government's recovery plan to support 15,000 jobs is adding to this confidence as is the fact we have higher employment, lower unemployment and higher rates of economic activity compared to the UK.

"Accelerating major infrastructure investment was vital in ensuring that Scotland is able to weather the recession.

“In essence these latest economic indicators show Scotland has what it takes to come out of this recession stronger. And it is important to remember that small businesses in Banff & Buchan have received a lifeline boost with the SNP Government’s small business bonus scheme which has seen business rates removed completely or dramatically reduced for thousands of businesses.

"It is crucial that no action is taken to disrupt recovery. That is why we are urging the UK Government to use their pre-Budget report to ensure a further acceleration of capital spending into 2010-11, just as was done this year. It is vital to ensure the support for thousands of jobs across Scotland."

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