NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Components of Business Investment”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at the components of business investment.  Mike, investments by businesses are crucial to our economy.  When businesses improve their equipment, technology, and infrastructure, productivity rises and the economy expands.  Are businesses still making these investments today?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Business investment has been trending downward this decade, and it actually retreated in 2016
  2. But there are some bright spots
  3. Investment in structures increased in 2016 compared to 2015
  4. Also, investments in intellectual property – like patents and copyrights – increased and has continued to be a larger share of total business investment
  5. Big pullback has been in equipment
  6. Maybe seeing a substitution of “software” – intellectual property – for hardware (equipment)
  7. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service