Special factors notably depressed investment.
The weaker demand for new machinery and
equipment probably represents not least a nat-
ural rebound from the strong surge in invest-
ment at the beginning of the year.
tor is likely to have been that industrial output
has not yet picked up durably. By contrast, the
fall-off in construction investment was largely
weather-related, after exceptionally mild tem-
peratures in the winter had allowed additional
building output in the first quarter. Moreover,
part of the additional building work carried out
during the winter months was probably merely
brought forward, meaning that this impulse
was lacking in the second quarter.
The slower pace of private consumption may also owe
something to the turnaround from falling to
rising oil prices, as this cancelled out previously
realised gains in purchasing power. On the
other hand, the very robust export momentum
had a stabilising effect on overall economic