Scotland in recession? No, the economy is growing. Are the Fraser of Allander Institute and its media followers talking through holes in their bahookies?


Even this morning the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute’s blog was suggesting that the Scottish economy was shrinking, based on the last quarter (Q4) of 2016 and what they thought might happen in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017. You’ll have seen all the gloomy headlines over the last few weeks if you can bear to monitor the mainstream media.

They don’t seem to have seen the Q1 figures for 2017 published today by the Scottish government at 09.30am, showing the economy growing. See this:

‘The Scottish economy grew by 0.8% during the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics announced today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. Change in gross domestic product (GDP) is the main indicator of economic growth in Scotland. The latest Gross Domestic Product release, covering the period January to March 2017, shows the economy grew by 0.8% compared to the previous three months. On an annual basis, compared to the first quarter of 2016, the Scottish economy grew by 0.7%. During the first quarter of 2017 output in the services industry in Scotland grew by 0.3%, production grew by 3.1% and construction contracted by 0.7%.’

I’ve already pointed to the general uselessness of academic economists in this:

Why Scotland’s looming recession is a figment of the imagination and propagandising

I did say I wouldn’t bother engaging with them directly but then my good friend Contrary sent me the link and I couldn’t help myself.

Equally, I can’t help reminding you that economists know nothing vaguely true unless it’s already happened. Like some other disciplines, they think they can perceive and analyse a real world out there. I am, of course, a member of the Master discipline, Sociology. We used to believe the same until we discovered phenomenology and had to accept that all we can be sure of is that we are having thoughts and that you might be interested in them. So, when we publish research findings we ‘surface the researcher’. That means we tell you where we’re coming from, what our values are and what our methods are, in detail, so that you can decide whether to believe us or not. Economists think they’re too big for that kind of thing and despite their endless dismal errors go on expecting you to respect and trust them. More fool you if you do. By the way, anybody can call themselves an ‘institute’. There are no rules on this. Ironically members of institutes tend to become institutionalised and believe what everybody else in the institute does. To get promoted you have to parrot the same stuff. One historian called it ‘Working toward the Fuhrer.’

I know, the Scottish Government economists are subject to the same comment if they start predicting.

You’ll notice I’m saying nothing about BBC Scotland. My psychiatrist says Bird/Campbell-induced depression is almost un-treatable unless you have a sniper’s rifle to hand so I never watch them. Don’t tell me what they’ve been saying! Please!


5 thoughts on “Scotland in recession? No, the economy is growing. Are the Fraser of Allander Institute and its media followers talking through holes in their bahookies?

  1. Contrary July 5, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    Haha! And I did laugh out loud when I saw this article, heh, couldn’t help yerseel’?! I am trying very hard to give up radio Scotland, I don’t watch tv or pay the licence – just another outrageous tax – but I can’t stand listening to music any more (except some classical), so I get things like recession rammed down my throat when I wake up. I did laugh when the 10am news bulletin (from some unknown benign newsreader) told me that, in fact, Scotland wasn’t going in to recession. It was only them that thought so! I have a plan to ask the council to start up a talking radio show that can tell me the weather forecast and traffic and pro-Indy news. But, yes, absolutely, I will blank out all further reports from that institution, no need to share that pain until I can resolve the dilemma.

    Your discription of why economists can’t predict anything is enlightening, I understand where you are coming from now 🙂 You know that weather people use chaos theory for their forecasts now, might that be the way to go?

    And good to be reminded that just because something calls itself an Institution – or indeed ‘charity’ – does not mean they are a trustworthy source, or a benign entity. Oh! For a simpler life where everything was straightforward!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. broadbield July 6, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Economics could do with a good dose of phenomenology: ” A physicist, a chemist and an economist are stranded on an island, with nothing to eat. A can of soup washes ashore. The physicist says, “Let’s smash the can open with a rock.” The chemist says, “Let’s build a fire and heat the can first.” The economist says, “Let’s assume that we have a can-opener…” “


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