HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 c1610W
Mr. Rosindell

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the prospects for the Scottish economy. [153301]

Mrs. McGuire

The prospects for the Scottish economy are good. Unemployment is around its lowest level for a generation and employment is close to a record high. Growth figures have recently been revised upwards to better reflect real changes in the economy. Inflation and interest rates are low by historical standards. There is a growing consensus among business surveys pointing towards a continued strengthening of business activity in Scotland in both services and manufacturing. Furthermore, independent forecasters predict above-trend growth continuing in 2004 and 2005.