Business investment, a major driving force during the five-year economic expansion, is expected to drop this year to its slowest pace since the last recession.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that a survey shows capital spending likely to increase just 1.5 percent, to $603.4 billion, far less than the gains of 8.1 percent in 1995 and 12.3 percent in 1994.
The survey suggested the manufacturing sector would account for 31 percent of planned spending and the service sector, 21 percent. But the poll also found spending declines were expected in half of the business categories.
Capital spending last fell in 1991, when the recession was ending.