Capital Spending Nears '08 Level

Rise in expenditures suggests companies see economy improving.

Capital spending at U.S. companies from Apple Inc. to 3M Co. is at the highest level since 2008 as upgrades to plants, property and equipment show some executives embracing the likelihood that the economy averts recession.

Expenditures rose 24 percent to $43.3 billion in the third quarter for 140 non-financial companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 that had released such data as of Nov. 4. Starting with Alcoa Inc.’s earnings report on Oct. 11, spending last quarter was the most since the end of 2010. Year-to-date investments of $149 billion are the highest since 2008, the analysis shows.

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