The data are rather compelling. US expenditures on factories, trucks, machinery, computers and software have been running abnormally low for years. Whether measured against total GDP, S&P 500 sales or depreciation of fixed assets, total spending on such big ticket items is a small part of the economy. But it does have far-reaching ripple effects, resulting in even more spending, profits and jobs over the years. That's why this kind of spending is so important.
Has this demonstrable strike on the part of public companies — our usual big spenders — been the result of fear, conservatism or just uncertainty over the direction of the economy?