P.M. BRIEFING : Japan Tops U.S. in Investment

FROM TIMES WIRE SERVICES

Japan has overtaken the United States to become the world's biggest spender on new factories and industrial equipment, according to a new study on America's flagging performance in the global economy.

Despite an economy less than half the size of that of its American economic rival, Japan spent $36 billion more on capital investment in 1989 than the United States: $549 billion vs. $513 billion.

"This marks the first time that any country has out-invested the United States in plant and equipment in absolute terms since World War II," the study by the Washington-based Council of Competitiveness said.

According to the study, U.S. investment in plant and equipment has consistently fallen below the average of the other Group of Seven countries over the last two decades.

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