The Scottish Index of Manufactured Exports, which is published today, shows that export sales grew by 4.2 per cent in real terms over the year to March, despite experiencing a slight fall during the first three months of 2012.
The latest figures for Q1 2012 show a fall of 0.6 per cent in real terms over the quarter.
Commenting on the figures Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
“Taken over the year manufactured exports in Scotland have grown strongly, with growth of 8.8 per cent in the food and drink sector making the largest contribution to the total. We have also seen significant annual growth in textiles, transport equipment, chemicals and mechanical engineering.
“However, there has been a slowdown over the past two quarters. This reflects the on-going economic uncertainty in the Eurozone and a less competitive exchange rate. It is also further evidence that the UK’s Government’s austerity approach is failing and, yet again I am urging Westminster to invest now to promote economic growth.
“Food producers continue do well with 3.6 per cent growth over the quarter. The quarterly fall in drink exports follows the extremely strong performance of the sector during 2011 with nearly two years of uninterrupted growth. Taken annually, exports from the drinks sector are up 9.2 per cent.
“While the European economies continue to struggle, we are seeing the emergence of growth markets in Asia and South America and we have to be prepared to make the most of these opportunities.
“Through our enterprise agencies, the Scottish Government is strengthening Scotland’s economic links in overseas markets. We are encouraging more growth companies to become active exporters and we are widening our support to help them do so.”
Chief Executive of Scottish Development International, Anne MacColl said:
"Together will our colleagues in SMAS, Scottish Development International is committed to helping home-grown manufacturing companies adapt to the changing patterns of international trade by targeting a range of overseas markets that offer significant growth opportunities.
“By doing so, we can help more companies realise their international trade plans, ultimately driving home long-term sustainable growth for the Scottish economy."
The Index of Manufactured Exports (IME) is a quarterly National Statistics Product for Scotland. It estimates real terms changes to the volume of export sales from manufacturing businesses located in Scotland.
The latest publication can be accessed at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/IME2012Q1
For more information see http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy