Shop for Banknotes
Scotland has a western style open mixed economy closely linked with the rest of Europe and the wider world. Traditionally, the Scottish economy has been dominated by heavy industry underpinned by shipbuilding in Glasgow, coal mining and steel industries. Petroleum related industries associated with the extraction of North Sea oil have also been important employers from the 1970s, especially in the north east of Scotland.
De-industrialisation during the 1970s and 1980s saw a shift from a manufacturing focus towards a more service-oriented economy. Edinburgh is the financial services centre of Scotland, with many large finance firms based there, including: Lloyds Banking Group (owners of HBOS); the Government owned Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life. Edinburgh was ranked 15th in the list of world financial centres in 2007, but fell to 37th in 2012, following damage to its reputation, and in 2014 was ranked 64th.
In 2012, total Scottish exports (excluding intra-UK trade) were estimated to be £26 billion, of which 59% (£15.4 billion) were attributable to manufacturing. Scotland's primary exports include whisky, electronics and financial services. The United States, Netherlands, Germany, France and Norway constitute the country's major export markets. Scotland's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), including oil and gas produced in Scottish waters, was estimated at £150 billion for the calendar year 2012. If Scotland became independent, it would hold 95% of the UK's current oil and gas reserves if they were split geographically using a median line from the English-Scottish border. If the reserves were split by population, that figure would be reduced to 9%. Scotland also has renewable energy potential, especially in tidal energy and offshore wind.
Whisky is probably the best known of Scotland's manufactured products. Exports increased by 87% in the decade to 2012 and were valued at £4.3 billion in 2013, which was 85% of Scotland's food and drink exports. It supports around 10,000 jobs directly and 25,000 indirectly. It may contribute £400-682 million to Scotland, rather than several billion pounds, as more than 80% of whisky produced is owned by non-Scottish companies. Tourism is also widely recognised as a key contributor to the Scottish economy. A briefing published in 2002 by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) for the Scottish Parliament's Enterprise and Life Long Learning Committee stated that tourism accounted for up to 5% of GDP and 7.5% of employment.
In February 2012, the Centre for Economics and Business Research concluded that "Scotland receives no net subsidy" from the UK, as greater per capita tax generation in Scotland balanced out greater per capita public spending. More recent data, from 201213, show that Scotland generated 9.1% (£53.1bn; this included a geographical share of North Sea oil revenue without it, the figures were 8.2% and £47.6bn) of the UK's tax revenues and received 9.3% (£65.2bn) of spending. Scotland's public spending deficit in 201213 was £12bn, a £3.5bn increase on the previous year; over the same period, the UK's deficit decreased by £2.6bn. Over the past thirty years, Scotland contributed a relative budget surplus[clarification needed] of almost £20billion to the UK economy.
In the first quarter of 2014, the Scottish economy grew by 1.0%, above the 0.8% recorded for the UK. It also expanded by a further 0.9% in the second quarter of the year, this time the same rate as that of the UK. As of October 2014, Scotland outperforms the UK as a whole in all three labour market indicators. The Scottish unemployment rate of 5.5% is below the UK rate of 6.0%, the Scottish employment rate of 73.9% is higher than the UK figure of 73.0% and the rate of economic inactivity is 21.7% in Scotland but 22.2% in the UK