From the TUC

A short post on investment

09 Nov 2011, by in Economics

You know how it is, you’re looking at a dataset pretty sure you know what you’re going to see …

Well that happened to me with today’s figures on Business Research and Development. I’d been interested in the impact of the recession on research and development, and what struck me was how little change there has been in the proportion of GDP spent on this form of investment:

Adam Lent has pointed out that UK business investment has recovered quite well, and that it’s one of the few “reasons to be cheerful” we’ve got at the moment. Private non-financial corporations have a lot of cash saved up and our prospects are very dependent on how they spend it: investments in property, food retail or outside the UK will do less immediate good.

Adam senses a shift to venture capital, but it would be good if the money was also being spent on product and process innovation within British corporations. This will be difficult without investment in R&D and the table above shows what an uphill struggle this is likely to be.