New EIB Survey: Investment needs and barriers in Europe

By EBRD  Press Office

New EIB Survey: Investment needs and barriers in Europe

On 26th April, staff members were invited to learn more about ‘Investment in Europe’ in a presentation by the European Investment Bank (EIB) at our headquarters in London.

The EIB’s Chief Economist Debora Revoltella and Senior Economist Aron Gereben presented, the EIB’s first Group Survey on Investment and Investment Finance (EIBIS) covering the EU corporate sector and its attitude towards investment and investment finance activities.

The survey collects qualitative and quantitative data from 12,500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across different sectors, as well as larger non-financial companies from all 28 EU member states. The data covers information on firm characteristics and performance, past investment activities and future plans, sources of finance and the challenges that businesses face.

The EIBIS shows that many firms underinvested in state-of-the-art and energy efficient capital stock as well as in intangibles (R&D and worker training). The survey data also help to improve our understanding of the constraints that limit investments by European businesses.

“There is a very strong differentiation between countries, but in almost all of them uncertainty about the future was the top barrier to investment”, Debora Revoltella explains.   

Moreover, the survey also reveals that lack of skilled labour and the regulatory environment are also among the top concerns for most of the businesses across Europe. Access to finance remains a significant barrier, especially for smaller firms or for firms active in countries which were affected by the financial crisis.

The EIBIS is a new addition to the EIB annual “Investment and Investment Finance in Europe” report, a flagship product of the EIB Economics Department.