Eurozone sees investment dip as income falls

Ben Southwood
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BUSINESS investment slid across the Eurozone in the third quarter of 2012, as household income sunk as well, data revealed yesterday.

The euro area business investment rate fell from 20.2 per cent in the second quarter of last year to 19.9 per cent in the third, Eurostat figures showed, after adjusting for seasonal variations.

This came as real disposable household income per capita fell for the fifth straight quarter, this time by 0.3 per cent, according to Eurostat data. Except for two tiny rises of 0.1 per cent, Eurozone household income has now been in free fall since the first quarter of 2009 eroding consumer spending power.

And few places have endured that gloomy spending movement as much as Spain, where retail sales collapsed 10.2 per cent over the year to December. This brought the overall yearly fall to 6.8 per cent, as the bloc’s fourth biggest economy was hit by mass unemployment and recession.

The only good news came from powerhouse economy Germany, where consumer morale edged up to a score of 5.8 looking towards February, according to researcher Gfk, up from 5.7 for January.