Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Annual Capital Expenditures Survey

You are here: Census.govBusiness & IndustryAnnual Capital ExpendituresHistorical DataAnnual Capital Expenditures › 2008
Skip top of page navigation

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


General highlights

In 2008, U.S. nonfarm businesses invested $1.38 trillion in new and used structures and equipment, an amount not statistically different from the revised 2007 total of $1.35 trillion.1,2 (See Tables 1a and 1b.) Total spending on new structures and new equipment was $1.29 trillion.

Expenditures in 2008 for new and used structures totaled $565.2 billion, an increase of $40.0 billion (7.6 percent) from 2007. (See Figure 1.) Of this amount, $525.8 billion (93.0 percent) was spent for new structures, an increase of $45.0 billion (9.4 percent) from 2007. Expenditures for used structures totaled $39.4 billion, not statistically different from 2007.

Spending on new and used equipment totaled $809.9 billion in 2008, down $19.6 billion (2.4 percent) from 2007. Of this amount, $763.3 billion (94.2 percent) was for new equipment, a decrease of $27.1 billion (3.4 percent) from 2007. Expenditures for used equipment totaled $46.6 billion, an increase of $7.5 billion (19.3 percent) from 2007.

The Annual Capital Expenditures Survey collects data from companies with and without employees. Companies with employees accounted for $1.30 trillion (94.2 percent) of total capital spending in 2008. These companies invested $532.3 billion in structures, an increase of 8.5 percent from 2007, and $763.2 billion in equipment, a decrease of 2.1 percent from 2007. (See Figure 2.)

Companies without employees accounted for $79.7 billion of capital spending in 2008, with $33.0 billion spent on structures and $46.7 billion spent on equipment.

Highlights by business sector for companies with employees (See Tables 2, 3, and 4)

(Data in this section are based on the 2002 North American Industry Classification System. Data are only for companies with employees because companies without employees are not asked to report capital expenditures by sector or industry.)

Of the 19 sectors covered in this report, 4 had a statistically significant increase in spending in 2008 compared with 2007, 5 had a statistically significant decrease, and 10 showed no statistically significant change. The values of structures and equipment may not sum to the values of total capital expenditures due to rounding. (See Table A, below and Figure 3.)

Table A

Of the 135 industries covered in this report, 26 had a statistically significant increase in spending, 31 had a statistically significant decrease, and 78 showed no statistically significant change from the prior year.


Manufacturing. The manufacturing sector spent $211.4 billion on capital goods in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Of the total spending by this sector, $49.1 billion was for structures, and $162.2 billion was for equipment. (See Figure 4.)

Investment spending by durable goods manufacturers totaled $103.1 billion in 2008, a decrease of 4.2 percent from 2007. Of this amount, $19.0 billion was for structures, while $84.2 billion was for equipment. The motor vehicle and parts industry was the largest durable goods investor, spending $18.4 billion in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. The second largest durable goods investor in 2008 was the semiconductor industry at $11.5 billion, a decrease of 17.9% from 2007.

Nondurable goodsmanufacturers spent $108.2 billion on capital goods in 2008, an increase of 20.7 percent from 2007. Spending for structures was $30.2 billion, and spending for equipment was $78.1 billion. The top contributors in this category were: the basic chemical, resin, synthetics, rubber, and fiber manufacturing industry at $24.9 billion, not statistically different from 2007; the petroleum and coal products industry at $21.2 billion, up 26.0 percent from 2007; the food manufacturing industry at $19.0 billion, not statistically different from 2007; and the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry at $9.8 billion, not statistically different from 2007.


Mining. The mining sector spent $149.9 billion on capital goods in 2008, an increase of 24.2 percent from 2007. Spending for structures totaled $109.6 billion, and spending for equipment totaled $40.3 billion. The oil and gas extraction industry at $116.7 billion (up 24.2 percent from 2007) accounted for 77.9 percent of the sector's overall capital spending in 2008. The support activities for oil and gas operations industry spent $22.1 billion on capital goods in 2008, an increase of 34.8 percent from 2007 and accounted for 14.8 percent of the sector's overall capital spending.


Finance and insurance. The finance and insurance sector spent $145.4 billion on capital goods in 2008, a decrease of 16.2 percent from 2007. Of this amount, $35.7 billion was for structures, and $109.6 billion was for equipment. The leading spender in this sector was nondepository credit intermediation industry (e.g., sales and lease financing, and credit card issuing) at $74.5 billion, a decrease of 19.1 percent from 2007. The second largest industry in this sector was depository credit intermediation at $25.5 billion, not significantly different from 2007.


Information. The information sector spent $103.4 billion on capital goods in 2008, a decrease of 2.5 percent from 2007. Of this spending, $28.9 billion was for structures, and $74.5 billion was for equipment. The leading industry spender in this sector was wired telecommunications carriers at $33.3 billion, a decrease of 5.3 percent from 2007. The second largest industry spender was wireless telecommunications carriers at $25.6 billion, an increase of 11.2 percent from 2007, followed by cable and other program distribution at $16.7 billion, a decrease of 8.6 percent from 2007.


Utilities. The utilities sector spent $98.3 billion on capital goods in 2008, an increase of 15.1 percent from 2007. Spending for structures totaled $43.5 billion, and spending for equipment totaled $54.8 billion. Within this sector, the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry accounted for $84.7 billion, an increase of 14.6 percent from 2007, and 86.2 percent of the sector's total capital spending. The natural gas distribution industry spent $9.9 billion on capital goods, an amount that was up 14.2 percent from 2007 and that accounted for 10.1 percent of the sector's total capital spending in 2008.


Real estate and rental and leasing. This sector spent $96.0 billion on capital goods in 2008, a decrease of 18.2 percent from 2007. Spending for structures was $37.2 billion, and spending for equipment was $58.8 billion. The top two spenders in this sector were the real estate industry at $37.7 billion, not statistically different from 2007; and the automotive equipment rental and leasing industry at $36.0 billion, a decrease of 22.7 percent from 2007. The next leading spender, commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental and leasing, spent $18.9 billion, a decrease of 22.1 percent from 2007, with 88.3 percent of this amount spent for equipment.


Health care and social assistance. . The health care and social assistance sector spent $90.0 billion for structures and equipment in 2008, an increase of 7.0 percent from 2007. Of this amount, $49.9 billion was for structures, and $40.1 billion was for equipment. The leading contributor to overall spending in this sector was the general medical and surgical hospitals industry at $55.5 billion, up 12.6 percent from 2007. The second largest contributor was the nursing and residential care facilities industry at $10.1 billion, not statistically different from 2007.


Transportation and warehousing. Total spending by this sector was $79.6 billion in 2008, an increase of 18.2 percent from 2007. Of this spending, $29.9 billion was for structures, and $49.7 billion was for equipment. The sector's top four spenders were: the pipeline transportation of natural gas at $15.9 billion, up 59.9 percent from 2007; the air transportation industry at $15.0 billion, not statistically different from 2007; the truck transportation industry at $14.3 billion, not statistically different from 2007; and the rail transportation industry at $11.5 billion, up 5.3 percent from 2007.


Retail trade. In 2008, capital spending by the retail trade sector was $73.4 billion, a decrease of 11.0 percent from 2007. Spending for structures was $36.2 billion, and spending for equipment was $37.2 billion. The leading spender in this sector, other retail trade stores including gasoline stations, spent $23.4 billion in 2008, down 14.9 percent from 2007. The second leading spender, general merchandise stores, spent $16.4 billion in 2008, down 15.0 percent from 2007.


Construction. The construction sector spent $41.7 billion for capital goods in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Of this amount, $11.1 billion was for structures, and $30.6 billion was for equipment. The special trade contractors industry spent $20.3 billion, not statistically different from 2007; the heavy and civil engineering construction industry spent $16.2 billion, not statistically different from 2007; and the construction of buildings industry spent $5.2 billion, not statistically different from 2007.


Accommodation and food services. This sector's capital spending totaled $40.5 billion in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Spending for structures was $24.9 billion, and spending for equipment was $15.6 billion. The traveler accommodation services industry, which includes hotels and casino hotels, accounted for $24.0 billion of the total, not statistically different from 2007. The food services and drinking places industry accounted for $16.5 billion of the total capital expenditures for this sector, down 20.0 percent from 2007.


Wholesale trade. The wholesale trade sector spent $32.9 billion on capital goods in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Of this spending, $8.6 billion was for structures, and $24.3 billion was for equipment. Within the sector, the merchant wholesalers durable goods industry spent $20.6 billion, not statistically different from the prior year. The merchant wholesalers nondurable goods industry spent $11.1 billion, not statistically different from 2007. Wholesale electronic markets and agents spent $1.2 billion, not statistically different from 2007.


Professional, scientific, and technical services. This sector spent $32.7 billion for capital goods in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Spending for structures totaled $8.7 billion, and spending for equipment totaled $24.1 billion. The largest contributor to the sector total was the computer systems design and related services industry at $7.1 billion, not statistically different from the prior year. The next two largest contributors were the scientific research and development services industry at $5.6 billion, not statistically different from the prior year, and the architectural, engineering, and related services industry at $4.9 billion, not statistically different from the prior year.


Other services (except public administration). This sector spent $28.3 billion on capital goods in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Spending for structures was $18.7 billion, and spending for equipment was $9.6 billion. The religious, grantmaking, social advocacy, civic, and social organizations industry was the sector's largest spender at $17.6 billion, not statistically different from 2007.


Educational services. The educational services sector spent $27.4 billion on capital goods in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Of this amount, $21.7 billion was for structures, and $5.7 billion was for equipment.


Arts, entertainment, and recreation. Arts, entertainment, and recreation. This sector spent $17.0 billion on capital goods in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Of this spending, $11.5 billion was for structures, and $5.5 billion was for equipment. The amusement, gambling and recreation industry, which accounted for 66.5 percent of all capital expenditures in this sector, spent $11.3 billion, not statistically different from the prior year.


Administrative and support and waste management. This sector spent $16.5 billion on capital goods in 2008, a decrease of 8.9 percent from 2007. Spending for structures totaled $4.1 billion, and spending for equipment totaled $12.4 billion. Within the sector, office administrative, facilities, employment, and other support services industry spent $6.2 billion, up 12.3 percent from the prior year. The investigation, security, and services to buildings and dwellings spent $3.5 billion, not statistically different from 2007; and the waste collection, treatment, and disposal industry spent $3.5 billion, down 20.8 percent from 2007.



Highlights of capital expenditures by types of structures and equipment for companies with employees (See Tables 5, 6, 7 and 8)


The data for 2008, as in all years ending in "3" and "8", provide additional information for companies with employees by types of structures and equipment (i.e., machinery, furniture and computers).

Of the $532.3 billion spent in 2008 on structures by companies with employees, these companies provided information on types of structures totaling $524.7 billion. Of this amount, $111.4 billion (21.2 percent) was for utility structures and facilities, $88.0 billion (16.8 percent) for mine shafts and wells, and $73.0 billion (13.9 percent) for offices, as well as for commercial buildings. (See Figure 5)

Of the $111.4 billion spent on utility structures and facilities, $45.6 billion (40.9 percent) was for electric, nuclear, and other power facilities, $42.5 billion (38.2 percent) for oil and gas pipeline and related facilities, and $20.0 billion (17.9 percent) for telecommunication structures and facilities. Of the $88.0 billion spent on mine shaft and well structures, $62.6 billion (71.2 percent) was for petroleum and natural gas wells and $25.1 billion (28.5 percent) for other mining and well construction. Of the $73.0 billion spent on offices, $65.4 billion (89.6 percent) was for office, bank, and professional buildings. And, of the $73.0 billion spent on commercial buildings, $19.0 billion (26.0 percent) was spent on stores-food related, $18.4 billion (25.2 percent) was for multi-retail stores, $15.8 billion (21.6 percent) was for other commericial stores/buildings, and $14.5 billion (19.9 percent) was for warehouse and distribution centers.

Of the $111.4 billion spent on utility structures and facilities, $54.8 billion (49.2 percent) was for construction of a new facility by contract, $27.7 billion (24.9 percent) for construction of a new facility using own employees, and $17.0 billion (15.3 percent) for remodeling, renovation, and modernization of an existing facility by contract. Of the $88.0 billion spent on mine shafts and wells, $49.2 billion (56.0 percent) was for construction of a new facility by contract, $16.6 billion (18.9 percent) for remodeling, renovation, and modernization of an existing facility by contract, and $11.5 billion (13.1 percent) for construction of a new facility using own employees. Of the $73.0 billion spent on offices, $34.2 billion (46.8 percent) was for remodeling, renovation, and modernization of an existing facility by contract, and $26.2 billion (35.9 percent) for construction of a new facility by contract. Of the $73.0 billion spent on commercial buildings, $32.9 billion (45.1 percent) was for construction of a new facility by contract, and $26.4 billion (36.2 percent) for remodeling, renovation, and modernization of an existing facility by contract. Tables 5 and 6 contain detailed data on structures expenditures.

Of the $763.2 billion spent in 2008 on equipment by companies with employees, these companies provided information on types of equipment totaling $748.7 billion. Of this amount, $233.5 billion (31.2 percent) was for information processing equipment, $185.2 billion (24.7 percent) for transportation equipment, and $151.7 billion (20.3 percent) for industrial equipment. (See Figure 6)

Of the $233.5 billion spent on information processing equipment, $71.4 billion (30.6 percent) was for capitalized software, $65.5 billion (28.1 percent) for computer and peripheral equipment, and $60.2 billion (25.8 percent) for information and communication technology equipment, excluding computers and peripherals. Of the $185.2 billion spent on transportation equipment, $107.7 billion (58.2 percent) was for cars and light trucks. And, of the $151.7 billion spent for industrial equipment, $92.3 billion (60.8 percent) was for special industrial machinery.

Companies were unable to provide details on their investment by type of structures and/or equipment, amounting to $7.6 billion (1.4 percent), and $14.5 billion (1.9 percent), respectively.


DISCLOSURE

In accordance with federal law governing Census Bureau reports (Title 13 of the United States Code), no data are published that would disclose the identity or operations of companies providing information under a pledge of confidentiality. Disclosure limitation is the process for protecting the confidentiality of data. When the estimate for a specific data item cannot be shown without disclosing information for individual companies, the publication of that data item is suppressed. The process of suppression does not change the marginal totals, so the integrity of the data is not adversely affected.


ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS
The following abbreviations and symbols are used in this
publication:
– Represents zero.
(D) Withheld to avoid disclosing data for individual companies, data are included in higher level totals.
(NA) Not available.
(NS) Not statistically significant.
(X) Not applicable.
(Z) Less than half of unit shown.

1 The 2007 estimate of $1.35 trillion presented in this year's report reflects a $6.9 billion downward revision in the amount reported in last year's report. The present report compares business investment in 2008 and 2007. For an assessment of investment spending patterns over a longer period, see 2008 Spending Report: U.S. Capital Spending Patterns-1999-2007 athttp://www.census.gov/econ/aces/report/2009/capitalspendingreport2009.pdf
2 Estimated measures of sampling variability have been calculated for each estimate and are used to construct 90-percent confidence intervals (or ranges) for all estimates of change. If the estimated range of change contains zero (0), then it is uncertain whether there was an increase or a decrease; that is, the change is not statistically different from zero (0), and the current estimate is not statistically different from the prior estimate at the 90-percent confidence level. See the "Reliability of the Estimates"; Section of the Sampling and Estimation Methodologies appendix for more information on confidence intervals and statistical significance.


[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. [Excel] or the letters [xls] indicate a document is in the Microsoft® Excel® Spreadsheet Format (XLS). To view the file, you will need the Microsoft® Excel® Viewer Off Site available for free from Microsoft®. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Annual Capital Expenditures | (301) 763-3324 |  Last Revised: June 20, 2011