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Dire news for Scottish construction firms

The Scottish economy shrunk for the fifth successive quarter with the largest sector fall being suffered by the construction industry, official figures shown.

But the decline of 0.2% was smaller than in the last three quarters, according to the official figures for gross domestic product (GDP).

The latest statistics, covering the period from July to September last year, are the same as the UK.

On today`s figures, the Scottish economy shrunk by 4.6% over the year to September, worse than the 4.4% fall across the UK, with the biggest decline in construction, which was down by 8.9%.

The production sector was also down 8.4% over the year to September but showed a 0.9% rise in the third quarter of last year.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The decline mirrors a fall in UK GDP for the same period while Scotland continues to have higher employment, lower unemployment and higher economic activity rates than the UK as a whole.

“Growth in the production sector coincided with an increase in Scottish manufactured exports. While this is welcome news, the challenge now is to get all sectors of our economy moving and lift Scotland out of recession.

“Our Economic Recovery Plan continues to have a central role in co-ordinating our response to the downturn. We are absolutely committed to investing in jobs and keeping our economy moving in these tough times.”

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