Friday, August 19, 2022
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Companies Are Hoarding Record Cash Amid Delta Fears

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Companies are sitting on a record amount of cash amid lingering uncertainty about disruptions from Covid-19, defying expectations earlier this year that a waning pandemic would unleash a spending spree.

Cash and short-term investments on corporate balance sheets globally are at an all-time high of $6.84 trillion, according to data from S&P Global, extrapolated from second-quarter earnings reports. That is 45% higher than the average in the five years preceding the pandemic and a 2.6% increase from the previous quarter.

In April, analysts at Goldman Sachs had lifted their 2021 forecast for spending growth by S&P 500 companies to 19% from 10%, “as uncertainty continues to fall and global economies continue to reopen.”

But global capital expenditures are expected to slow in the third quarter after a strong start to the year, according to an Aug. 6 report by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Corporate spending growth is forecast to decline to 5.8% this quarter at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, down from 12.9% in the previous one.

Companies have enjoyed one of the strongest economic rebounds in history, driven by a powerful combination of fiscal and monetary stimulus. But now some indicators are flashing warning signs and prompting finance chiefs to build up their cash buffers again.


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