The main findings of the EIB Investment Report 2017/2018 were presented by the European Investment Bank (EIB) at its Annual Economic Conference in Luxembourg yesterday (23 November). The report – accompanied by country-level reports and an interactive data tool – incorporates the results of the annual EIB Investment Survey (EIBIS) of almost 12,500 businesses in the EU, conducted by Ipsos, which this year was supplemented by a Europe-wide survey of over 550 municipal authorities.
The EIB Investment Report reveals an urgent need to accelerate investment in research and development and other “intangibles” vital to innovation such as software, training, and organisational capacity. It shows that “lack of staff with the right skills” is now the most frequently cited deterrent to investment, mentioned by 72% of firms EU-wide. It is followed by general “uncertainty about the future”, and business, tax and labour market regulations. Firms call for public investment in professional training and higher education as a first priority, closely followed by investment in transport and digital infrastructure.
One-third of the municipalities surveyed report their investment over the last five years has been below their needs. The most affected sectors are urban transport, ICT and social housing. Local government authorities cite fiscal constraints as the main obstacle to investment, not so much access to finance, but the EIBIS also shows a need for better planning and prioritisation of infrastructure investment.
12,338 interviews were conducted with non-financial private sector companies with 5 or more employees and 555 interviews were conducted with municipalities across the EU28. Interviews were conducted by telephone between April and August 2017, with a random sample of 150 to 600 interviews in each country depending on size. Data is weighted by value added.