What can company data tell us about financing and investment decisions?
Katie Farrant, Magda Rutkowska, Konstantinos Theodoridis 09 February 2014
The investment decline in the UK that has followed after the recent crisis is hardly a surprise. What is baffling is that at the same time, corporate bond issuance has remained strong. This column discusses this puzzling pattern and provides possible explanations for it. Heterogeneity among companies is one possible argument, where firms with capital market access invest, and those without – do not. However, evidence from 2012 shows that investment across companies with capital fell as well. Thus, other factors – such as the increased financial uncertainty – could play a role in the investment decisions of companies.
Following the financial crisis, UK companies revised their spending and financing decisions dramatically. They reduced investment by around 13% in real terms between 2008 and 2012 (Besley and Van Reenen 2013, Haddow et al. 2013). But during that same period, corporate bond issuance by UK companies was strong, with record corporate bond issuance in 2012. Taken at face value, this might appear puzzling, as one might expect strong bond issuance to feed into stronger investment.
Financial markets Global crisis
UK, investment decline, corporate bond issuance