UK Oil & Gas Investments bags license to drill oil in the Isle of Wight
The sustained fall in oil prices has had a material impact on the broader energy sector, according to Scotland's state of the economy report Reuters

The fall in oil prices has contributed to a slowdown in the growth of Scotland's economy, which grew by just 0.1% in the second quarter of 2015, according to the country's chief economist.

Overall growth in Scotland remains forecast at 1.9% for 2015, down on 2014 figures, Dr Gary Gillespie said in his latest State of the Economy report.

Oil prices have fallen from peaks of over $100 last year to less than $36 recently just missing 11-year lows. Some analysts, however, predict the price slump could deepen even more.

Household spending and investment in Scotland was the biggest driver of growth in the second quarter of the year, having benefited from lower prices "driven in part by lower energy costs and an improving financial outlook", the report said.

"Construction activity has benefited from a surge in public sector investment through 2015, driving growth strongly in this sector of the economy," it added.

However, it said the fall in "global commodity prices has also impacted on steel and paper production in Scotland and the sustained fall in oil prices has had a material impact on the broader energy sector".

The chief economist also reported the labour market has remained resilient and is now performing close to pre-recession averages.

"The previous State of the Economy reported on three years of continuous quarterly growth in the Scottish economy - the longest period since 2001," the report said.

Despite growth being down from 0.4% in the first quarter, Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney said it showed "that Scotland's economy has remained resilient even in the face of increased global headwinds".

"Our economy, however, is facing a number of external challenges and the pace of growth has, therefore, slowed during the second quarter of the year," he said.

"The UK Government retains control of the main economic and tax levers affecting the North Sea oil industry and we urge them to do all they can to assist the sector. Our prioritisation of public infrastructure spending throughout 2015 has also been a strong contributor to growth in Scotland during this period."