The weakness was concentrated in the export sensitive manufacturing sector, where the recent geo-political tension in Europe and the slowdown in China have played an important part in reducing demand. In both Germany and Italy, where export-orientated manufactured goods are strong components of economic activity, growth slowed during 2014; GDP averaged 0.4% and – 0.1%, QoQ, respectively.
On the other hand in domestic demand and service sector driven economies such as Spain (+0.5%), UK (+0.6%) and Sweden (+0.6%) growth held up much better in 2014. In France (+0.1%) growth remained stable. Growth has been helped by a large fall in energy costs, which has driven general prices to their lowest level in a decade.
Source : BNP Paribas Real Estate