The past two years have been a critical period for the infrastructure asset class. The sector went mainstream as governments worldwide announced financial measures to assist with liquidity directed at infrastructure, highlighting the critical role the sector plays in economic growth and development.
Governments across Europe have used spending on infrastructure as a countercyclical method of stimulating the economy. Major stimulus packages implemented last year to combat recession, however, have weighed heavily on public finances in many countries within the region. France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic ended 2009 with fiscal deficits in excess of 5 percent of GDP. The aggregate euro zone budget deficit is expected to increase from –6.1 percent of GDP in 2009 to –6.8 percent of GDP in 2010.
Growing fiscal pressures on many European governments have led to more public