SCOTLAND'S GDP grew by almost five per cent in the past few months as coronavirus restrictions eased, according to new figures.

The data showed that there was a 4.7% increase in Scotland's gross domestic product (GDP) in the latest quarter.

Finance and Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said the data shows Scotland's economy was “continuing its recovery” from the Covid pandemic.

Over the three months of April to June 2021, GDP was 21.7% higher than it had been for the same period in 2020, when the impacts of Covid-19 and lockdown were at their worst.

In the most recent quarter, the services sector grew by 5.2%, while output in the production sector was up 3.5% with a rise of 3.3% in construction.

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Forbes said the figures were “a tribute to the adaptability and resilience shown by so many businesses during the pandemic”.

She added: “It is clear to see the growth in the second quarter reflects the removal of lockdown restrictions, increased mobility and the acceleration of the vaccination programme.”

Forbes stressed the need for “fair and sustained economic growth”, pledging the Scottish Government would bring forward a 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation this autumn.

This, she said, “will build on our green economic recovery, prioritise investment in the industries of the future and deliver new, good and green jobs”.

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The Economy Secretary warned: “The pandemic is not over. Challenges remain and some sectors such as retail, tourism and hospitality still face obstacles on the road to recovery.

“But this GDP estimate clearly shows that Scotland’s economy is continuing its recovery from the global pandemic as we work with business and trades unions to build a greener, fairer and more prosperous economy with wellbeing at its core.”