Kemp: US Businesses Brace For Oil Investment Downturn


John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Oil and gas production is fundamental to the U.S. economy. The sharp downturn in prices will have a negative impact on business investment in the short term before the positive impact on consumer spending takes over further down the line.

Oil and gas producers accounted for almost $1 in every $8 of new business investment in the U.S. economy in 2013, according to new data published by the Census Bureau.

Businesses engaged in oil and gas extraction invested $159 billion in wells, structures and equipment in 2013, according to the Annual Capital Expenditures Survey, the latest edition of which was published on Feb. 5 (

Companies engaged in oil and gas production support activities invested a further $20 billion, taking the oil and gas sector's share of economy-wide new investment to almost 13.5 percent.

Back in 2003, oil and gas extraction and support activities accounted for just 5.3 percent of whole-economy business capital expenditures.

Capital investment in oil and gas in 2013 was almost as large as the next three biggest sectors combined: electricity ($86 billion), hospitals ($51 billion) and wired telecoms, broadband and cable suppliers ($49 billion).


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