SCOTLAND’S economy grew by 0.9 per cent in June in a fifth consecutive monthly rise, but still remains smaller than before the Covid pandemic struck.

New Scottish Government experimental statistics said onshore GDP remained 2.1% below where it was in February 2020, the last month before lockdown.

However there have been recent surges in some sectors, including tourism and hospitality.

The services sector grew by 1.2% in June, with the largest contribution coming from accommodation and food as travel and socialising restrictions were relaxed.

However output in services remains 12.9% below pre-pandemic levels.

Output in the production sector rose 0.5% overall, with growth in the electricity and gas supply subsector offset by falls in manufacturing and water and waste management. 

Output in the construction sector is estimated to have fallen by 1.4%, broadly in line with the UK as a whole over the course of the latest quarter.

Comparing recent quarterly figures, GDP growth in Q2 of 2021 (April to June) was estimated to be 4.9% higher than in Q1, when output fell 1.8% because of the winter lockdown.

Accommodation and food services in Scotland more than doubled in Q2 compared to Q1, seeing an increase of 121%, while the personal services sector increased by 43.8%, and  retail and wholesale by 8.1%.

However Q2 output remains 3.6% below Q4 of 2019, the last full quarter before pandemic restrcitions were introduced.

The Government report noted that rising Covid cases in schools had affected the figures for education.

It said: “There was a negative contribution from education in June, as school attendance rates fell during the month as coronavirus cases began to increase again.”

It said the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed a broadly similar pattern across the UK as a whole, with GDP up 1% in June, but stil 2.2% below Ferbuary 2020.

However it said the different Covid rules on north and south of the border mean there were “particularly high levels of statsitical uncertainty in some estimates”, with revisions likely.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “While today’s figures show some resilience, we still face challenges. A strong, sustainable recovery remains our priority.

“The UK Government put unprecedented measures in place from the very beginning of the pandemic to protect lives and livelihoods. That’s included supporting the jobs of nearly a million people in Scotland through furlough and with unprecedented financial help for the self-employed. More than 90,000 businesses have benefited from business loans and VAT cuts have kept firms in the hardest hit sectors afloat.

“We’ve provided the Scottish Government with more than £14.5bn in additional funding, £1.5bn has been invested in growth deals across Scotland and our new Levelling Up and Community Renewal Funds will benefit communities right across the UK.

“In driving our economy into recovery, our Plan for Jobs will help more people get back into work and the success of the UK Government-funded vaccine programme is paving the way for us to build back better and stronger.”