Capital investments by utilities rose sharply.

The Conference Board reported that appropriations for capital spending by the nation's investor-owned utilities increased by 71% in the second quarter over the first three months of the year. Capital appropriations by the electric and gas utilities increased to $15.5 billion in the second quarter, the board said. Combined with $9 billion in first-quarter appropriations, the second quarter boosted utility appropriations by 85% in the first half of 1984 over the same period a year ago, the board said. Capital appropriations are authorizations for spending on new plant and equipment and are considered a leading indicator of capital investment.

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