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Romania, among the EU countries with the most significant decline of investments

Between 2007 and 2017, the ratio of investment to GDP decreased in 24 out of the 28 EU Member States, as Eurostat informs.

Over this decade, the largest declines were observed in Latvia (19.9 percent in 2017 vs. 36.4 percent in 2007, or -16.5 pp), Greece (-13.4 pp), Estonia (-12.9 pp), Romania (-12.5 pp), Spain (-10.4 pp), Slovenia (-10.3 pp), Lithuania (-9.8 pp) and Bulgaria (-9.1 pp).

In contrast, the ratio slightly rose between 2007 and 2017 in Sweden (from 23.9 percent of GDP in 2007 to 24.9 percent in 2017, or +1.0 pp), Austria (+0.6 pp) and Germany (+0.2 pp), while it remained almost stable in Belgium (+0.1 pp).

Last year, total investment (both from the public and the private sectors) by European Union (EU) Member States amounted to almost EUR 3 100 billion. Construction accounted for about half of these investments, with machinery, equipment & weapons systems (31 percent) and intellectual property products (19 percent) following. The intellectual property products category has shown the largest increase in investment in proportion to total capital investment.

Overall, total investment was equivalent to 20.1 percent of GDP in 2017, compared with 22.4 percent ten years ago, just before the economic and financial crisis. This represents a decrease of 2.3 percentage points (pp). The fall in investment is even more pronounced in the euro area: from 23.2 percent in 2007 to 20.5 percent in 2017 (-2.7 pp).

Among the EU Member States, in 2017 investment accounted for a quarter of GDP in the Czech Republic (25.2 percent) and Sweden (24.9 percent). Estonia (23.7 percent), Austria (23.5 percent), Ireland (23.4 percent), Belgium (23.3 percent), Romania and Finland (both 22.6 percent) as well as France (22.4 percent) all had investment rates of over 20 percent of GDP.

At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest ratio of investment to GDP was recorded by Greece (12.6 percent), followed by Portugal (16.2 percent), the United Kingdom (16.9 percent), Luxembourg (17 percent), Italy (17.5 percent) and Poland (17.7 percent).

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