Scotland’s economic output grew by 2.1% in March, estimates have shown.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose between February and March, but remains substantially lower than before the pandemic.
Economic output is also yet to recover from restrictions being put in place in October due to rising Covid-19 cases, with GDP 0.9% lower.
The experimental statistics found that the new measures, which brought in a tiered response system for local authorities, reduced economic output by 2.1% in the final quarter of last year, compared with the first quarter of this year.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “Businesses continue to face considerable challenges as we emerge from lockdown, but today’s figures indicate we are taking tentative steps towards recovery.
“March saw GDP increase 2.1%, with broad-based growth across all sectors, although the economy remains 5.4% below the pre-pandemic level of February 2020.
“Economic recovery is a priority of the Scottish Government and we will work closely with business to unlock the potential in our economy and create jobs.”
All four sectors assessed by the Scottish Government saw rises in output in March, the figures suggest, with the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector continuing past volatility by rising by 4.5%.
Production (3%), construction (5.7%) and services (1.6%) all saw rises in output during the month.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the recovery from Covid-19 was also the priority of the UK Government, adding: “We know that Scottish businesses and families still face huge challenges, and the UK Government will continue to support jobs right across the UK.
“The UK Government’s furlough and self-employed schemes – both extended until September – are together supporting the jobs of nearly half a million people in Scotland. Business loans and VAT cuts are helping hardest-hit sectors and we are making sure that the welfare system has the funding it needs to support people across Scotland.”