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32. 1997 Economic Census

891. Capital Expenditures

[In millions of dollars (807,070 represents 807,070,000,000). Based on 1987 Standard Industrial Classification code (SIC). Based on a sample survey of approximately 34,000 companies; for description, see below table]

SIC All companies Companies with employees Nonemployer businesses
        Item code
1996 1997 1998 1996 1997 1998 1996 1997 1998
    Total (X) 807,070 871,765 973,587 707,110 772,343 879,041 99,960 99,422 94,546
Structures (X) 243,427 273,298 328,146 204,345 236,166 290,353 39,082 37,132 37,793
  New (X) 223,588 254,451 283,526 191,867 225,107 250,814 31,721 29,344 32,712
  Used (X) 19,839 18,849 44,620 12,478 11,060 39,539 7,361 7,789 5,081
Equipment (X) 563,641 598,466 645,441 502,762 536,177 588,687 60,878 62,289 56,753
  New (X) 526,016 562,019 609,864 481,785 515,965 564,769 44,231 46,054 45,095
  Used (X) 37,625 36,447 35,576 20,977 20,212 23,919 16,648 16,235 11,658
Capital leases (X) 15,675 16,066 16,533 13,023 14,549 15,323 2,652 1,517 1,210
Capitalized interest (X) (NA) (NA) (NA) 6,827 7,273 8,965 (NA) (NA) (NA)
    Total expenditures (X) (NA) (NA) (NA) 707,110 772,343 879,041 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Mining (X) (NA) (NA) (NA) 30,155 38,957 40,346 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Construction 15-17 (NA) (NA) (NA) 13,806 15,531 18,289 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Manufacturing industries 20-39 (NA) (NA) (NA) 191,762 192,345 207,304 (NA) (NA) (NA)
  Durable goods 24, 25, 32-39 (NA) (NA) (NA) 109,898 108,405 118,991 (NA) (NA) (NA)
  Nondurable goods 20-23, 26-31 (NA) (NA) (NA) 81,864 83,940 88,312 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Transportation 40-42, 44-47 (NA) (NA) (NA) 36,698 45,045 51,843 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Communications 48 (NA) (NA) (NA) 57,133 68,467 78,491 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Utilities 49 (NA) (NA) (NA) 36,744 38,719 42,319 (NA) (NA) (NA)
  Electric and gas services 491, 493 (NA) (NA) (NA) 25,531 26,503 28,632 (NA) (NA) (NA)
  Gas, water, and other utilities 492, 494-497 (NA) (NA) (NA) 11,212 12,216 13,687 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Wholesale trade 50, 51 (NA) (NA) (NA) 26,026 28,847 31,164 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Retail trade 52-59 (NA) (NA) (NA) 55,831 55,868 63,063 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Finance 60-62, 67 (NA) (NA) (NA) 87,144 91,328 110,064 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Insurance and real estate 63-65 (NA) (NA) (NA) 23,410 29,270 50,325 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Services 07-09, 70-89 (NA) (NA) (NA) 145,896 164,975 182,440 (NA) (NA) (NA)
  Rental and business services 07-09, 70, 72, 73, (NA) (NA) (NA) 78,064 86,789 93,311 (NA) (NA) (NA)
  Health services 80 (NA) (NA) (NA) 34,176 36,974 41,616 (NA) (NA) (NA)
  Membership organizations,
   educational, and misc. 81-84, 86, 87, 89 (NA) (NA) (NA) 33,657 41,211 47,514 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Structures and equip. expenditures
serving multiple industry categories (X) (NA) (NA) (NA) 2,503 2,992 3,392 (NA) (NA) (NA)

NA Not available. X Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Capital Expenditures, series ACE.



To provide broad-based statistics on business spending for new and used structures and equipment. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses. This is also called the ACES program.


All domestic, private, nonfarm, including agricultural nonfarm (SIC Major Groups 07, 08 and 09) businesses. Major exclusions are foreign operations of U.S. businesses, businesses in U.S. territories, government operations (including the U.S. Postal Service), agricultural production companies, and private households. All businesses falling in the remaining sectors (including the self-employed) are covered. In 1996, there were approximately 5.0 million businesses with at least 1 paid employee and approximately 14.0 million nonemployer businesses.


Basic data for each year include expenditures on new and used structures and equipment (excluding land and depletable assets) for 94 separate industry categories. Supplementary data for selected years include added expenditure detail by type of structure and by type of equipment.


Annually beginning with data for 1993. Basic annual data are supplemented on a 5-year cycle; 5th year supplements provide added detail by type of structure and by type of equipment. Data collection begins about 3 months after the end of each year and continues for 9 months; data are for activities in the prior calendar year.


A mail-out/mail-back sample survey of approximately 34,000 companies with 1 or more employees, plus 12,000 nonemployer companies. Larger companies are selected each year from the updated Standard Statistical Establishment List (SSEL); all companies with at least 500 paid employees are included in the survey; and smaller employer companies are stratified by industry and payroll size and selected randomly by strata. Nonemployer companies are selected randomly without regard to industry classification.

The SSEL is updated continuously based on new information from Census Bureau programs and administrative records of other agencies. SSEL establishment-level data are consolidated to create company information for sampling purposes. Separate industry categories are 2- or 3-digit SIC industries developed on the basis of the aggregate value of capital expenditures and the reportability of detailed expenditures information. Published data are weighted totals for all covered businesses, adjusted for companies that do not respond, and accompanied by standard error information.

* The estimates in this report are based on two stratified simple random samples.The ACE-1 sample consists of 33,818 companies with at least one paid employee on March 12.The ACE-2 sample consists of 12,182 nonem- ployer businesses.The two sample populations received different survey forms (see Appendix D for an example of each survey form).

The scope of the survey was defined to include all pri- vate,nonfarm,domestic companies.Major exclusions from the frame were government-owned operations (including the U.S.Postal Service),foreign-owned opera- tions of domestic companies,establishments located in U.S.Territories,establishments engaged in agricultural production (not agricultural services),and private house- holds.

* CAPITAL EXPENDITURES Capital expenditures include all capitalized costs during the year for both new and used structures and equipment chargeable to fixed asset accounts for which depreciation or amortization accounts are ordinarily maintained.For projects lasting longer than 1 year,this definition includes gross additions to construction-in-progress accounts even if the asset was not in use and not yet depreciated.For capital leases,the company using the asset (lessee)is asked to include the cost or present value of the leased assets in the year in which the lease was entered.Also included in capital expenditures are capitalized leasehold improvements and capitalized interest charges on loans used to finance capital projects.

STRUCTURES Capital expenditures for structures consist of the capi- talized costs of buildings and other structures and all nec- essary expenditures to acquire,construct,and prepare the structure for its intended use.The costs of any machinery and equipment which are an integral or built-in feature of the structure are classified as structures.Also included are major additions and alterations to existing structures and capitalized repairs and improvements to buildings. New structures include new buildings and other struc- tures not previously owned,as well as buildings and other structures that have been previously owned but not used or occupied.Used structures are buildings and other struc- tures which have been previously owned and occupied.

EQUIPMENT Capital expenditures for equipment include machinery, furniture and fixtures,computers,and vehicles used in the production and distribution of goods and services.Expen- ditures for machinery and equipment which are housed in structures and can be removed or replaced without signifi- cantly altering the structure are classified as machinery and equipment.

New equipment consists of machinery and equipment purchased new and equipment produced in the company for use by the company.Used equipment is secondhand machinery and equipment.

OTHER CAPITAL EXPENDITURES "Other" capital expenditures refers to depreciable and amortizable fixed assets which companies could not clas- sify as structures or equipment because of recordkeeping practices or difficulties interpreting the definitions of structures and equipment.

CAPITAL LEASES Capital leases consist of new fixed assets acquired under capital lease arrangements entered into during the year.Capital leases are defined by the criteria in the Finan- cial Accounting Standards (FASB)Number 13.

CAPITALIZED INTEREST Capitalized interest consists of interest charges on loans used to finance capital projects,if consistent with the criteria in the Statement of Financial Accounting Stan- dards (FASB)Number 34.Capitalization occurs only during the period of time to get structures and equipment ready for their intended use (such as long term construction of a factory or equipment).

These tables are based on figures supplied by the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject to revision by the Census Bureau.

Copyright © 2006 Photius Coutsoukis and Information Technology Associates, all rights reserved.