Rise in investment could kick start recovery | tutor2u Economics

Rise in investment could kick start recovery

UK businesses are sitting on a pile of cash and need to loosen the purse strings and invest more according to new research from Ernst and Young. Their latest macroeconomic forecast for the UK can be found here.

There has been a shift in the share of total factor incomes flowing to workers and a corresponding rise in the share of profits in GDP (by factor income). Ernst and Young find that wages and salaries in the UK fell from 46.5% of GDP to 45.3% last year, while the share of non-financial company profits increased from 15.9% to 16.2%. The non-financial company financial surplus increased from £56 billion to £71 billion, almost 5% of GDP helped by a fall in interest payments on debt and a sharp fall in dividend payments.

For economists at Ernst and Young, the cash mountain provides a big opportunity for the UK economy. They are urging companies either to step up capital spending commitments including creating extra capacity to export products. Or return surplus cash to shareholders through bigger dividends. The Ernst and Young forecast shows business investment in the UK increasing by 12.3 % this year and another 14.1% in 2012. With housing investment slowly recovering, this easily outweighs the effect of lower public sector investment, pushing total investment up by 5.7% this year and 8.1% in 2012.

Higher investment provides a boost to aggregate demand and also the economy’s productive capacity. And a rise in exports will help to re-balance the economy. For cash to be committed to investment projects requires sufficient business confidence and this is where the Keynesian idea of animal spirits becomes so important to where the UK economy is heading over the next year or two.

Business investment in the UK

Data from Timetric.

To view this graph, please install Adobe Flash Player.

Total Investment: Businesses, quarterly, UK from Timetric


Subscribe to email updates from the tutor2u Economics

Join 1000s of fellow Economics teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Economics team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.

You can also follow @tutor2uEconomics on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or join our popular Facebook Groups.

Teaching Vacancies


Advertise your vacancies with tutor2u

Much cheaper & more effective than TES or the Guardian. Reach the audience you really want to apply for your teaching vacancy by posting directly to our website and related social media audiences.

Find our more ›

Advertise your teaching jobs with tutor2u

A New Home for tutor2u Resources

We've just flicked the switch on moving all our digital resources to instant digital download - via our new subject stores.

For every subject you can now access each digital resource as soon as it is ordered. This will always be the latest edition of each resource too (and we'll update you automatically if there is an upgraded version to use).

Simply add the required resources to your cart, checkout using the usual options and your resources will be available to access immediately via your mytutor2u account.