SCOTLAND’S economy shrank by 2.5 per cent in the first three months of 2020, according to latest official statistics from the Scottish Government.

But alternative ‘experimental’ official statistics – also from the Scottish Government – suggest Scottish output in May was down more than 22% from February, before the introduction of lockdown measures in March.

Business lobby group the Federation of Small Businesses says the 2.5% contraction does not show the scale of the crisis.

“While these figures are obviously not good news, they don’t show the amount of economic damage caused by the shutdown in the late spring and summer,” said FSB Scotland policy chair, Andrew McRae.

“It looks likely that we’ll not be able to understand the overall impact of the coronavirus pandemic for months if not years.” Policymakers must support independent and smaller firms at the heart of their plans for jobs, growth and local communities, he added.