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Scotland exports to grow for next four years

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Scotland's economy looks like it will enjoy a timely boost in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum. This is not entirely good news for the coalition government, aware that Scottish first minister Alex Salmond will spin it as further evidence that Scotland would thrive outside the UK economy.

Analysts suggest that Scottish exports will grow by two percent each year from 2012 to 2017. The figure for the UK as a whole is just 0.3 percent. and for all of Europe just one percent. Chemicals and aerospace products were the main growth areas, while Scotland's perennially popular export, whisky, continues to increase its global market.

Close study of the figures suggest that Venezuela, Latvia and Australia are increasing their imports from Scotland, but there are opportunities to open up new markets. Jim Bishop, a partner with analysts EY in Scotland, identified the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as a great promotional opportunity. "It's stunning to consider that the Commonwealth makes up 30% of the world," Bishop said. "That incorporates a couple of billion people in some of the fastest growing economies where Scotland is exporting.

Although a substantial part of the export profits will go to multinational companies, benefits will be felt in Scotland with extra jobs and the trickle-down effect on local economies.

Patriotic Scots have already boosted summer retail sales in the nation's high streets during Andy Murray's successful Wimbledon campaign. Scots rushed to the shops for the traditional celebration carry-out, boosting retail sales by four percent for the month. "Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory undoubtedly started the rally with celebration parties driving food and drink sales early in the month," KPMG industry analyst David McCorquodale told Retail Week. "A prolonged spell of summer weather then boosted sales of barbecues, burgers and beer." Of course, the three Bs of summer retail recovery.

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