Corporate America likely will continue to focus the greater share of cash it shells out in 2016 on buying back stocks and issuing dividends, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis.
Of the $2.2 trillion S&P 500 firms are expected to spend next year, more than $1 trillion will go to buybacks and dividends alone, Goldman chief equity strategist David Kostin and others said in a report for clients.
By contrast, capital expenditures likely will get $650 billion, just a 1 percent increase over 2015 levels that have been steadily declining. In the third quarter, capex plunged 5.6 percent to $153 billion, subtracting nearly a full point off gross domestic product, which grew a meager 1.5 percent in the quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Capex, or gross private domestic investment, plunged during the financial crisis and has been on a mostly measured move higher.