Since the global economic and financial crisis, the EU has been suffering from low levels of investment.
While Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and private consumption in the EU were in the second quarter of 2014 roughly at the same level as in 2007, total investment was about 15% (€430 billion) below 2007 figures. In certain Member States, the decline in investment has been even more dramatic.
New research by DG ECFIN shows that the main reason for the current weakness in investment is the very low level of growth in the recent past with deleveraging by companies and households also playing an important role.
The evidence so far suggests that public sector deleveraging in recent years has led to weaker investment levels only in so far as it affected aggregate demand.