An SNP minister lashed out at opponents for “spreading fake news” about Scotland’s economy.
Keith Brown, the Economy Secretary, said “talking Scotland down” and its prospects as an independent nation is their “stock in trade”.
In a speech to his party’s conference, he also announced a £1m warchest to help care leaves get into work, training or education.
He said: “People believe that fake news is something new, but we know different.
“The Tories and our opponents have been spreading fake news for years about our economy, our resources and the kind of future that we could build if Scotland chose an independent future.
“Talking Scotland down is their stock in trade.”
Mr Brown said the Scottish Government is “doing what we can within the constraints of devolution” to grow the economy.
Speaking at the Aberdeen Conference Centre, he hailed the launch of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre last month with £90m of government cash.
Earlier, a report from Edinburgh-based analysts Wood Mackenzie warned that political uncertainty could deter investment in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
The Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: “It is clear from this report that the currently fragile recovery we are seeing in the North Sea could be put at risk by Nicola Sturgeon’s reckless and irresponsible drive for independence.”
During his speech, Mr Brown announced a £1 million project to help young people who have been in care find work or training.
It aims to help 270 people aged between 16 and 29 over the course of a year.
Mr Brown told delegates the Care Experienced Employability Programme is the “fulfilment of a manifesto pledge”.
He said: “This innovative programme is a new approach to helping the young people who face the biggest barriers in our society.”