Manufacturing Industry Leads In Capital-Goods Spending

Manufacturing led all industry sectors in 1997 U.S. capital-goods expenditures, accounting for one-quarter of the $771 billion invested by businesses with one or more employees, according to a recent report by the Commerce Dept. Non-employer businesses spent $99 billion, pushing the total spent on capital goods by U.S. businesses to $870 billion in 1997. Within manufacturing's $192 billion expenditure, durable-goods industries accounted for $108 billion, or 56% of the manufacturing total. The biggest spender within durable goods was the communications-equipment and electronics-components industry, at nearly $28 billion, the report notes. Nondurable-goods industries spent $84 billion on capital goods, led by the chemical products industry's (minus drugs) investment of $20 billion. Ranked second to manufacturing in capital-goods spending was the services sector, which spent a total of $165 billion. Automotive and truck rental and leasing services were the biggest spenders within this sector, investing $30 billion in capital goods in 1997. The full report, Annual Capital Expenditures: 1997, is available for viewing on the Commerce Dept.'s Census Bureau Web site.

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