Scotch whisky fights off the recession
'We've said all along the whisky industry is recession-resistant,' say industry analysts
More than 807m bottles of Scotch whisky were shipped overseas from Scotland during the first nine months of 2009 - a 1.5% improvement on 2008, despite the recession.
The figures, revealed by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), fly in the face of claims that the industry has stumbled into a recession-hit crisis.
On the contrary, Scotch whisky exports are "showing the way in bringing the Scottish economy out of recession," according to the SWA.
The SWA's figures show that overall global consumption of Scotch whisky did not decrease during the first half of 2009, and is likely to continue to increase in the coming months.
"After a tough first quarter, exports have performed well so far in 2009.
"We look forward to a good last quarter," Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA, told Scotland's The Herald newspaper.
"Distillers have been resilient in the recession, investing for future opportunities and underscoring Scotch whisky's increasing importance to the domestic economy.
"Scotch Whisky exports - which already represent 20% of Scotland's manufactured exports - are showing the way in bringing the Scottish economy out of recession."
While certain manufacturers, like Diageo - manufacturers of Johnnie Walker whisky - and Chivas Brothers have made cut-backs in their production processes, SWA's figures show that the Whisky market remains buoyant, overall.
"We've said all along the whisky industry is recession-resistant, not recession-immune - and we stand by that," another SWA spokesperson told The Herald.
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