New Investments

Since passage of the new tax law, some corporations have given it at least partial credit for U.S. investments they plan to make over the next several years. But there’s reason to suspect that many of these investments represent business as usual and are unrelated to the tax cuts. ATF’s review of several of the largest “investments,” such as by Apple, Comcast and ExxonMobil, which are worth $435 billion combined, reveals that little if any of the investments are new, but instead a continuation of existing trends.

Much of the actual new investment that companies are planning is due to the current economic conditions rather than the new tax law. A recent survey of corporate executives found that only about one-third of companies are planning on increasing their capital expenditures this year. Among those that are planning increases, less than 20% said that the plans were due to the tax cuts (14.4% for manufacturers and 18.6% for non-manufacturers).

The spreadsheet includes corporations that have announced “new” investment plans since the law’s final passage on December 20, 2017.

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