It concerns investments in tangible fixed assets which entrepreneurs will put into use in 2019, such as buildings, factories, machinery, transport equipment and computers. Although manufacturers anticipate lower investments for next year, their expectations for this year are even more positive than they were at the time of the spring survey. During that survey, manufacturers still expected to invest 25 percent more in 2018 relative to 2017.
Last year, manufacturers invested nearly 8.7 billion euros in tangible fixed assets, i.e. almost 9 percent more than in 2016. This means expectations in the last survey of 2017 (i.e. a 19 percent increase relative to 2016) were higher than the ultimate realisation. As of 2015, expectations have consistently exceeded realisations by a narrow margin. This was mainly because investments were completed later than planned or were moved to a later date than originally planned.
|Realised investments (year-on-year % change)||Anticipated investments in autumn (year-on-year % change)|
Fewer positive expectations among large sectors
Manufacturers in large sectors such as the food, beverages and tobacco industry, and the metal and electronics industry still expect to utilise slightly more tangible assets in 2019 than this year. However, expectations are less positive than they were in 2018 relative to last year.
The most significant disparities in this and next year’s expectations are seen at refineries and in the chemical industry. Entrepreneurs in these sectors expect to have invested 83 percent more in assets by the end of this year relative to last year, whilst anticipating a decrease of 27 percent for next year. This year, many new buildings have been put into use in these sectors.
|2019 (year-on-year % change)||2018 (year-on-year % change)|
|Refineries and chemical industry||-24||83|
Motives for investment
In 2018, most investments have been earmarked for expansion; 41 percent of entrepreneurs cite this as the main reason to invest. For 2019, they mainly expect to replace assets (36 percent). Expansion and replacement are the main motives for producers to invest; 74 percent of investors expect to do so in 2018 and nearly 70 percent in 2019.
|Replacement (%)||Expansion (%)||Efficiency (%)||Other (%)|
|Refineries and chemical industry||2019||44||26||17||13|
|Refineries and chemical industry||2018||33||47||11||9|