Investment and Economic Activity

Read this chapter to examine factors that determine private investment and its link to output within the macroeconomy. Private investment plays an important role in the short run by influencing aggregate demand, and in the long run by influencing the rate of growth of the economy.

14.3 Investment and the Economy

Case in Point: Investment by Businesses Saves the Australian Expansion

With consumer and export spending faltering in 2005, increased business investment spending seemed to be keeping the Australian economy afloat. "Corporate Australia is solidly behind the steering wheel of the Australian economy," said Craig James, an economist for Commonwealth Securities, an Australian Internet securities brokerage firm. "The clear message from the latest investment survey is that corporate Australia is flush with cash and ready to spend," he continued.

The data supported his conclusions. The level of investment spending in Australia on new buildings, plant, and equipment was 17% higher in 2005 than in 2004. Within the investment category, mining investment, spurred on by high prices for natural resources, was particularly strong.