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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04489: Patrick Harvie (Glasgow)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 3 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-03223 by Keith Brown on 1 November 2016, whether it will provide the information that was requested regarding what action it is taking to improve the availability of its data on (a) the balance of trade and (b) (i) primary and (ii) secondary incomes.

Answered by: Keith Brown 16 November 2016

The development of Scottish Government economic statistics is reviewed and discussed with users at the annual meeting of the Scottish Economic Statistics Consultation Group (SESCG). The latest meeting was on 19 May 2016 and focussed on plans for the year 2016-17. Minutes of SESCG meetings are published online at

As discussed at SESCG, the Scottish Government is continuing to develop statistics relating to the offshore oil and gas industry and its contribution to various aspects of the Scottish economy, including the balance of trade. In addition, the Scottish Government is engaging with the Office for National Statistics and HM Revenue and Customs on the use of administrative data sources to improve the accuracy and reliability of statistics for UK countries and regions. We await forthcoming developments to HMRC Regional Trade Statistics and will review how changes to this data source can be used to improve export and import statistics for Scotland. There was also discussion at SESCG that the Scottish Government plans to continue research into the development of sector income accounts and Gross National Income statistics next year.