New research from KPMG has highlighted a growing gap in business confidence between North Sea energy firms and the wider Scottish and UK economies.
The 2019 KPMG CEO Outlook shows fewer than half of UK chief executives are optimistic about the prospects for global economic growth over the next three years.
It marks a significant fall of 34% points year-on-year, and is in stark contrast to evidence of increased investment and growth planning among Aberdeen-based oil and gas operators and contractors.
Earlier this month, data from the 30th Oil and Gas survey, conducted by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Fraser of Allander Institute, and sponsored by KPMG, revealed nearly half (45%) of contractors had increased investment spending in the UK North Sea during the past year, while 40% of firms had grown their workforce.
Martin Findlay, senior partner at KPMG UK in Aberdeen, said: “The data came with something of a health warning – we were starting from a low base after a sustained downturn.
“Taking that into account, the latest global CEO Outlook research creates some cause for concern for the energy sector. To some extent, the industry has always operated in its own cycle, but it would be foolhardy to ignore wider increased uncertainty and dwindling global confidence in the UK and global economies.”