Excluding retail, there were 11,470 projects in 2009, a decline of 18.81%. The forecast, made in early November 2008, estimated there would be a 14% fall; a later update predicted close to 20%.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) reported that overall FDI (including M&As) fell by 39% from $1700bn to $1000bn in 2009, with decreases across all major groups of economies (see cover story, page 76). After severe declines in 2008, FDI flows in developed countries dropped by a further 41%, while transition and developing nations fared little better, with a slump of 39%. The US, the UK, France, Sweden and Spain all saw sharp dips.

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The good news is that the FDI projects recorded by fDi Intelligence in September and October 2009 show a gradual increase in numbers, supporting recent information that the downturn is coming to an end.

August was the worst month for investments, possibly due to summer holidays in the northern hemisphere – only 1073 projects were recorded, marking a drop of -17.4%. However, by September numbers were on the rise again, with 1358 projects reported, up by 26.5%.