Scotland’s economy grew by 0.9% in May but output remains 2.7% below its pre-pandemic level, according to the latest GDP estimates.
The economic data shows a fourth consecutive monthly increase of Scotland’s onshore GDP, fuelled by a 1.1% rise in service sector output and 0.7% growth in the production sector.
Although the Scottish construction sector is estimated to have decreased by 0.8%, it remains 1.1% larger than the pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
By individual sector, accommodation and food services were the largest areas of growth as restrictions eased across many parts of the country during May.
Responding to the figures, published by Scotland’s chief statistician, Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “It is encouraging to see Scotland’s economy continuing to recover from the pandemic.
“The 0.9% rise in GDP during May is the fourth consecutive monthly increase and output is now 2.7% below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020, having increased from a low of -22.6% in April 2020.
“I am particularly pleased to see further recovery in the service sector as restrictions have eased, and that manufacturing and construction output are above pre-pandemic levels.
“Although conditions remain difficult for many businesses, their resilience and ingenuity, combined with the careful lifting of restrictions, is creating conditions for sustainable growth.
“The Scottish Government is determined to build a greener, fairer and more prosperous economy and our ambitious 10-year National Strategy will drive Scotland’s economic transformation.
“But we want to do more and I am pressing the UK Government to provide greater financial certainty by guaranteeing Covid-19 consequential payments and relaxing restrictions on borrowing.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “We know that we still face big challenges getting our economy back on track.
“The UK Government has taken swift and decisive action to support lives and livelihoods right across the UK over the course of the pandemic.
“We are continuing to support nearly 300,000 Scottish jobs and backing more than 100,000 Scottish businesses with loans to the tune of £4 billion.
“As the UK Government-funded vaccine rollout allows all parts of the UK to further ease lockdown restrictions, our focus remains on recovery.
“The UK Government is investing in all parts of the United Kingdom. Through our new UK-wide funding schemes, our £1.5 billion city deals programme, and our work to improve connectivity, we are ensuring Scotland has a prosperous future.”