Global investment showed renewed signs of recovery in July as investors in sectors that have been hit hard by lockdown restrictions cautiously resumed investment plans.

The fDi Index – which tracks foreign investor sentiment – scored a reading of 795 in July, slightly up from June and more than 81% higher than the low of 439 it touched at the height of lockdown measures in Asia and Europe in April, according to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets.

Advertisement

Although still subdued, the index is edging towards pre-pandemic levels. The July reading was down 30.66% from the same month a year earlier, partly because July 2019 hit a five-year high for monthly investment activity. Benchmarked against its average value throughout 2019, the decline of the index narrows to 20%, fDi Markets figures show.

The month saw the consumer products sector bounce back. The sector was hit hard by lockdown measures amid the widespread closure of non-essential outlets. But the easing of restrictions in many regions around the globe encouraged marquee retailers and brands to restart investment campaigns.

Swedish furniture group Ikea mobilised up to €130m ($153.5m) for a property on Rue de Rivoli, Paris, for its second urban store in the city. It also announced a €150m ($177) investment to expand and transform its stores in Spain over the next three years.

German personal care group Beiersdorf announced a 700m zloty ($187.2m) expansion of its facilities in Poznań, western Poland.

In the digital space, US tech giant Amazon announced the opening of 10 new fulfilment centres in India to strengthen its operations across the subcontinent.

Another notable comeback in July was the hotel and tourism sector, which finally saw some investment activity after months of disruption. Hotel groups such as Ritz-Carlton, Marriott and Radisson all announced new projects in July.

Overall, the chemical sector catalysed the highest amount of committed FDI in July, led by a $5bn deal between US group Air Products and Saudi Arabian Acwa Power for a hydrogen-based ammonia production facility.

Green energy also posted robust inflows. No other sector has attracted as much foreign investment as renewables since the start of the year, fDi Markets figures show.