Shetland economy out-performs UK

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The impression that Shetland is weathering the recession better than many places is borne out in a new economic study.

The report, produced for Shetland Islands Council, values the Shetland economy in 2010/11 at just over a billion pounds, £1,091.4m to be precise. The equivalent figure in 2003, at 2011 prices, was £860.5m, indicating that Shetland's output grew at around 3% over the period, faster than that of the rest of the UK.

The islands have also been more than paying their way. Shetland's balance of payments was firmly in the black, with exports exceeding imports by £131m in 2010/11. 89% of the surplus stems from fisheries. The position is now much better than in 2003, when there was a trade deficit of £106m.

Islanders also made their biggest-ever contribution to the UK exchequer, paying £82m more in taxes than they received in government payments. Annual household income in 2011 is estimated at £38,148 and the study estimates that there were 10,490 full-time equivalent jobs.

All in all, it's an encouraging picture. You can find the full report here.