Wednesday, December 1, 2010

U.S. Economic Status, Part III: Investment

Let's start with the macro picture of investment, which has been steadily increasing for the last five quarters.

Private non-residential investment has increased the last three quarters, indicating that business is investing in some real estate development.

However, it's the equipment and software investment that is the real reason for the increase. Notice the size of the quarter to quarter increases for the last three quarters.

Residential investment is still low, and will probably be that way for some time.

Inventories are being restocked; this overall number has been increasing solidly since the end of 2009.

However, the inventory to sales ratio is about halfway between 1.25 and 1.30, which is about halfway between the high and the low from the last expansion. Also note this number has been decreasing since the early 1990s. So, for inventories to continue their contribution to the expansion, we need to see sales increase