THE BBC has apologised for “misleading” viewers on how Scotland’s economy ranked compared with the UK as a whole.

The ruling related to a report on Scottish GDP growth on August 15 last year.

A comment by presenter Jackie Bird that Scotland’s Q1 2018 growth “roughly matched” the UK total was not correct – with Scotland actually recording a figure double that of the UK’s.

The presenter said: “Growth in the Scottish economy was stronger at the start of this year than previously thought.

“Figures published today show that it roughly matched the growth rate of the UK as a whole.

“Scottish Government experts have re-thought the way they measure activity in the construction sector, meaning that the whole economy is estimated to have grown by 0.4% in the first quarter of this year.”

In fact, the revised figures had shown Scottish growth at 0.4% to the UK’s 0.2%.

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In response to a complaint over the report, the BBC said that the reference to the growth rate of the UK was intended to be in comparison to the previous year.

However, the response from Fraser Steel, head of the BBC’s executive complaints unit, added: “But this wasn’t clear from the script and, as the report concerned the first quarter of 2018, I think viewers would have been likely to understand the statement about GDP growth in Scotland roughly matching the UK’s as applying to that period, with misleading consequences. I’m therefore upholding your complaint.

“Please accept my apology, on behalf of the BBC for the breach of standards you have identified.

“A summary of your complaint and our decision to partially uphold it will be published on the complaints pages of”

Responding to the decision, a BBC spokesperson told The National yesterday: “News staff have been reminded of the importance of clearly reporting statistical data, particularly where complex comparisons are involved.”

The complaint had been passed to the BBC’s executive complaints unit on November 1 last year.

No response was received, and reminders from the complainant in December and February went ignored.

However, this week, the executive complaints unit apologised for their lateness in responding.

The BBC’s ruling on the complaint was delivered on Wednesday, but the details had as of Thursday not not been published on its website.