Mixed success for Scottish manufactured exports

Scottish manufactured export volumes in 2013 rose 1.9% on 2012, the fastest annual increase since 2008, according to official figures.

The latest figures also show that manufactured export sales fell 4% in Q4 2013, the biggest quarterly drop since 2009.

The slump was led by the refined petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical sector, which saw sales fall 20% over the quarter.

Key quarterly data:

  • engineering exports grew 1.5%, led by increasing transport equipment sales (+17.6%)
  • this offset the drops in mechanical engineering (-3.5%) and electrical and instrument engineering (-2.8%)
  • textiles and clothing sales fell 5.3% 

Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

“The annual growth in manufactured exports – the fastest seen since 2008 – is welcome news for Scottish businesses and the wider Scottish economy.

“This comes in the same month employment levels in Scotland surpassed pre-recession levels, reaching a record high, and the latest GDP figures show sustained economic growth over the last seven quarters, demonstrating the continued recovery of Scotland’s economy.

“While this annual growth in exports is welcome news, the 4% fall in exports over the most recent quarter shows the continued challenges facing Scotland in the global marketplace, where the muted recovery in the euro area and volatility in emerging economies continues to have an impact across the range of export areas.”