Manufactured export sales rise
Food and drink sales up 3.3 per cent
The volume of Scottish manufactured export sales grew by 2.5 per cent during the first quarter of 2013 (January to March).
An expansion in exports of food and drink, which was up 3.3 per cent in the first quarter, has contributed to the overall increase in export sales.
This continues the strong performance of the food and drink sector, which saw a 11.3 per cent average annual growth rate to the first quarter of 2013.
Over the past year, the total volume of Scottish exports contracted by 1.4 per cent to the end of March.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
“The increase in manufactured export sales during the first quarter of 2013 is another positive piece of evidence that Scotland is on the road to economic recovery.
“These statistics come after last week’s GDP figures which showed a 1.2 per cent growth in the economy, and labour market statistics showing Scotland has a higher employment rate, lower unemployment rate and lower inactivity rate than any other nation in the UK.
“Scotland’s food and drink sector is continuing to perform well and it is clear that many counties have developed a taste for Scottish goods. Our excellent natural larder guarantees high quality produce which is celebrated around the world.
“The challenging global economic conditions, particularly in the Eurozone, continues to make it a testing time for Scotland’s exports, which is why the Scottish Government is working closely with Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to support companies to expand and reach out to new and emerging markets.
“This Government is working tirelessly to secure jobs and investment, and to retain Scotland’s position as the best place to do business. Our business rates relief package will reduce business rates taxation by £560 million this year.
"With the full fiscal and economic powers of independence the Scottish Government could do even more to strengthen our economy."