Conflicting inward investment results drawn-up by accountants Ernst & Young and the government for last year have fuelled debate on whether the UK’s uncertainty over the euro has deterred foreign investors.
A recent E&Y survey found that inward investment in the UK fell by almost a quarter last year with 130 fewer projects than 1998.
However, Invest in Britain Bureau (IBB) figures show a 16% increase in the number of new projects and jobs created in the UK, with 757 inward investment projects last year, compared with 652 in 1998.
E&Y director Barry Bright said that the exclusion of mergers and acquisitions from the report could explain the two different sets of figures.
Sir David Wright, chief executive of British Trade International, said there was no evidence to suggest that inward investment was being significantly affected by Britain’s position on the single currency, but conceded that the strength of the pound was causing difficulties.
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