This is Brian Ashcroft's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Brian Ashcroft's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Brian Ashcroft
Glasgow
Emeritus Professor in Economics and Editor of Economic Commentary, Fraser of Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde
Interests: Scottish economy, devolution, economic forecasting, regional economics and policy, Scottish media, macro-economic policy, public finance, acoustic guitar playing, Newcastle United
Recent Activity
Unfortunately, a bout of sickness has delayed me posting a summary of the latest FAI Economic Commentary. Here it is, and apologies for the delay: I Overview In our latest Economic Commentary we note that Growth in both the Scottish and UK economies is set to slow further with falling... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2016 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
On Wednesday of this week - 9 December- the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its annual update of Gross Value Added (GVA) and GVA per head for the Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS) 1, 2 and 3 regions and nations of the UK. This is a useful... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
Several UK newspapers today trumpet the Chancellor's Autumn Statement yesterday as heralding the end of austerity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chart 4.10 in the Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) Economic and Fiscal Outlook shows the size of the state in Britain continuing to shrink dramatically. From around... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
The latest labour market data show the situation up to end September. The data clearly show the slowdown that has recently occurred in the Scottish economy. Some comfort can be perhaps be obtained from the latest quarter's data, which could be interpreted as showing that the slowdown is coming to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Magnus Gardham writes in the Herald on Tuesday 10 November that 'Some of Britain's biggest retailers have warned stores could be forced to shed jobs in Scotland unless business rates are overhauled. Boots, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis are among 40 firms and business organisations that have called for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
I see the well-known economist and FT columnist John Kay has suggested that the financial services sector in Scotland will never recover from the failure of its two largest banks at the height of the banking crisis in 2008. Specifically, John Kay is reported as saying that “We’re never going... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
For those who can stand it the latest podcast for the Commentary is here (click on picture): Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
I Overview In the latest Economic Commentary we note that Growth in both the Scottish and UK economies is slowing and in the second quarter a gap opened up between Scotland and the UK. The chained volume measure of GDP rose by 0.1% in Scotland in the quarter, while UK... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
I Overview In the latest Economic Commentary we note that the Scottish and UK economies are continuing to grow and recover from the Great Recession. With growth of 0.6% in the final quarter of last year – the latest data point - the Scottish economy has now enjoyed positive growth... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
More on the Scotland on Sunday news story and my article, which is also included in my last post. My paper criticises recent work by Scottish Government economists in the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser (OCEA), which purports to show that increased productivity, investment and exports will raise the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
The news story in Scotland on Sunday about my article is here. The article itself does not appear to be on the Scotland on Sunday website yet, so here it is: On March 9th the Scottish Government published a news release "Greater gains from more fiscal control" The release claimed... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
The latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) published today with data for 2013-14 is hardly a revelation. Scotland is shown to have a net fiscal deficit of -8.1% of GDP - when a geographical share of oil revenues is assigned to Scotland - while the UK deficit is -5.6%.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
In the latest Fraser Economic Commentary we discuss the threat to the Scottish and UK economies of the UK Coalition's current plans to increase the pace and scale of austerity over the next 4 years. The Institute for Fiscal Studies in their IFS Green Budget 2015 highlight the scale of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
The underlying basis for the estimate in Fraser of Allander Institute's latest Economic Commentary that the fall in the price of oil could raise Scottish GDP growth is given in the box below: Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Our latest Economic Commentary, which was published today can be accessed here. A summary of our findings and forecasts is provide below: Overview The Scottish and UK economies are now recovering at a reasonable rate from the greatest economic shock since the 1930s. This recovery, slowed by the UK Coalition... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
The latest labour market data for Scotland, which were the subject of yesterday's post allow us to examine the type of jobs that are on offer, or are being taken up, in current conditions. The chart below shows where we are. In general terms, what we see is a shift... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
Following the release yesterday (18 February) of the latest labour market statistics the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, is reported as claiming that: "Scotland is outperforming the UK on all three headline labour market indicators with employment continuing to increase and unemployment down …." While... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Scottish Economy Watch
The recent significant fall in world oil prices raises several issues and questions. One crucial issue is whether the low price will be sustained. If not, through, for example Saudia Arabia cutting back on production, then any effect on economic activity will be short lived. But it is now clear... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
On November 12th, we published our latest Fraser of Allander Institute Economic Commentary, - sponsored by PWC. On the same day, the Scottish Government published its quarterly accounts for the second quarter under the Scottish National Accounts Project (SNAP). The Commentary, therefore, could only analyse the drivers of Scotland's economic... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2014 at Scottish Economy Watch
Overview • In the latest Economic Commentary we note that in the first half of the year the Scottish economy delivered strong economic growth, increased job creation and falling unemployment. • However, there are signs that growth may be beginning to slow. Growth in the wider global economy and the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at Scottish Economy Watch
In an earlier post I sought to establish the number of jobs that could be said to depend on economic links with the rest of the UK (rUK). That work suggested that almost 1 million jobs – 962,000 – were linked to the UK through rUK owned firms operating establishments... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at Scottish Economy Watch
The strong growth demonstrated in the latest GDP figures for Scotland is clearly to be welcomed. Welcome too is the attainment of the pre-recession peak, finally, after six years. However, what has pulled me out from under the olive trees and the hot Tuscan sun to write this blog is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
Using the latest data available from the Scottish Government we can examine Scottish growth over the last 50 years. This blog updates an earlier post in February 2012 here. The key points are: Scottish GDP growth over almost 50 years is comparable to UK growth – a little lower in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at Scottish Economy Watch
The Institute's latest Economic Commentary on the Scottish economy, sponsored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, is published here. In summary: Overview The Scottish economy is now enjoying a strong recovery. However, the Institute cautions that the recovery is subject to the risks of: a continuing unbalanced recovery; falling real wages; booming house prices... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at Scottish Economy Watch
Image
The IMF has sought fit to effectively apologise for seeking last year to encourage the Chancellor to relax his austerity measures. Yes, they got the strength of the UK recent recovery wrong, everyone did, even Osborne himself. The Chancellor had quietly started to relax the austerity programme after 2012 as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2014 at Scottish Economy Watch