BBC Scotland’s Economy editor forced to correct article after exaggerating UK-Growth

BBC Scotland’s Business and Economy editor has been forced to correct an online article after it was pointed out he had exaggerated UK economic growth by 100%.

Douglas Fraser had claimed Scotland’s first quarter economic growth of 0.4% was equal to that of the UK for the same period.

Comparing Scotland’s economic performance with that of the UK as a whole, the reporter wrote: “The 0.4% figure is below long-term trend, but it’s equal to the UK level for that quarter.”

However, UK economic growth for the first quarter was not 0.4%, but half that.  The figure was widely reported across the UK media – including the Financial Times.

The inaccurate claim remained unchanged until this site questioned its accuracy on twitter.

We asked the BBC Scotland correspondent: “Can @BBCDouglasF explain the difference between his figure and the FT figure? Genuine question.”

Fraser later replied: “Yes, he can. It is my error, which will be corrected asap. UK gdp growth in q1 was 0.2%. For Q2, it was 0.4%, which may be where the error came in. Thanks for pointing that out.”

The online article – ironically entitled ‘Maths revision for Holyrood’ – was corrected the next day.

However the correction removed the original direct comparison between Scottish economic growth and that of the UK.

The blunder comes days after Fraser’s Pacific Quay colleague Jackie Bird made the same erroneous claim on Reporting Scotland.

The presenter told viewers:“Growth in the Scottish economy was stronger at the start of this year than previously thought.

“Figures published today show that it roughly matched the growth rate of the UK as a whole.”

The blunder prompted anger on social media with many people accusing the broadcaster of trying to downplay good news for the Scottish government.

The broadcaster is frequently accused of downplaying Scottish good news.  Last month both Bird and Fraser appeared to place a negative spin on news that Barclays Bank had announced 2,500 new jobs for Glasgow by implying they would not be secure.

Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, BBC Scotland chiefs insist the broadcaster is fair and impartial in all of its news coverage.


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5 thoughts on “BBC Scotland’s Economy editor forced to correct article after exaggerating UK-Growth

  1. Xaracen

    Your own article needs a correction; 4% growth is ten times 0.4% growth, and that mistake appears twice. 😀

  2. Clapper57

    This is why Social media is being targeted as fake news ……because it holds the real promoters of fake news to account.

    Just think years ago , before social media , how much misinformation and lies our parents were subjected to…..quite scary and probably accounts for why a lot of the polls showing a certain age group still being reluctant to embrace independence…..years of being bombarded with propaganda. Thankfully there are some older people who are able to use their brain and who live in the present and they are able to see through the many smoke screens deployed by the unionist establishment machine.

    Unfortunately once a piece of fake news is broadcast ,or in the case of newspapers printed, any retraction , if given, will probably go unnoticed, however thankfully people like you are diligent and observant enough to notice the errors and act accordingly to hold those responsible to account and to then bring it to the attention of others on social media. Well done you. Think we need to persuade more people of all ages to check out alternative sources of news if they want to make more informed decisions and have a broader perspective in relation to what is presented as news . Perhaps then they will see that not everything is as black and white in relation to politics as promoted by the MSM.

    Have a good day and keep up the good work !

  3. John

    Gillian Marls is another presenter that needs brought to boot , I thought she was going to have an apoplectic fit this morning when she was interviewing Jamie Hepburn Minister for Business on Good Morning Scotland around 8.20 .
    The interview was a disgraceful , biased , unprofessional rant that should have been cut off air . If you are ever in any doubt about BBC Scotland and it’s presenters being biased have a listen on catch-up , this interview was an utter disgrace !

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