LONDON (Reuters) - Over a third of European foreign direct investment projects announced in 2019 have been either delayed or cancelled outright because of the coronavirus pandemic, an annual survey by professional services group EY found.
Some 65 percent of the 6,412 projects in question are already in place or continuing "albeit with downgraded capacity and recruitment", EY said. A further 25 percent were delayed and 10 percent cancelled, its Europe Attractiveness survey found.
The data on the impact of the pandemic was gathered last month from a panel of 113 corporate decision-makers and a series of webinars with European investment agencies.
The survey also showed France for the first time overtaking Britain as Europe's most popular investment destination, attracting 1,197 new projects in 2019 for a 17% rise on the year before. FDI in Britain climbed 5% in the same period.
"Growth of FDI projects in France come as local and global businesses and investors welcome reforms around labour legislation and corporate taxation," EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner Julie Teigland, said of President Emmanuel Macron's reform agenda.
(Reporting by Mark John; editing by Barbara Lewis)