Exploring CAPEX Trends & Forecasts Around the World


Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) is an important mechanism used by firms to enhance their future prospects. CAPEX involves spending on physical or intangible assets that are used for the long-term growth of the company. It refers to investments that are made to create new assets, or to make improvements to existing ones. CAPEX looks beyond the current financial year, and involves forecasting and anticipating future value.

The importance of CAPEX cannot be understated as it provides a company with the resources it needs to remain competitive and successful in the long-term. The need to effectively manage CAPEX is vital if a company wishes to remain competitive. CAPEX is an essential component of a company’s budgeting and forecasting process.

This study aims to explore current CAPEX trends and forecasts around the world. We will be looking at what the current trends indicate, and what the future looks like for CAPEX spending. Specifically, we will address the following questions:

  • What can current CAPEX trends tell us about the future?
  • What current trends should companies be aware of?
  • What are the long-term goals for CAPEX growth?

Global CAPEX Trends

Corporate entities around the world are currently evaluating the impacts of CAPEX trends and forecasts, and how the overall performance of their specific industry may be impacted. CAPEX stands for Capital Expenditures, and is a measure of the investments companies make on their core assets, including physical infrastructure and technological advancement.

Overview of Global CAPEX

According to projections from the International Monetary Fund and other organizations, overall global CAPEX investment will reach \$37 trillion in 2020, a 1% increase from that of the previous year. This is despite governments implementing austerity measures, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global CAPEX Projections for 2020 to 2024

Global CAPEX spending is expected to see gradual increases over the coming years, and is likely to continue doing so through 2024. This is due to the expansion of existing markets, driven by both growing consumer demand and the development of new technologies. Several analysts have noted that the utilization of digital technologies and artificial intelligence are driving sectors within the global economy.

Causes for Global CAPEX Growth

Analysts have identified several key causes for the recent growth in global CAPEX spending. These include:

  • The steady rise in global trade.
  • An increase in the number of technology-related investments.
  • A growing demand for innovative products and services.
  • Increased capital expenditure in developing countries.
  • Government incentives to encourage more spending on capital projects.

Regional CAPEX Trends

Exploring current trends and forecasting CAPEX figures will provide important insight and direction when making investment decisions. The following looks into the specific regional CAPEX trends, focusing on the United States, the European Union and China.

CAPEX in the U.S.

The U.S. is projected to leaders in CAPEX spending over the next two years. Construction activity is expected to grow significantly in response to higher levels of government investment, combined with private investments in 2020-21. Nonresidential construction activity is expected to continue, with expected focus specifically in transportation, telecommunications, and manufacturing.

CAPEX in the European Union

Overall, the European Union has experienced a decrease in Capital expenditure since 2018. This is mainly due to a decrease in government investments across sectors such as transport, health, education, and defence. Despite this, the government plans to increase spending in the coming years in order to uphold the stability of the Union and increasing competitiveness.

CAPEX in China

China holds the world’s largest CAPEX and is considered the hub for global investments. According to the IMF, China’s investment rate will remain between 45% to 50% of GDP, with an increasing focus on infrastructure, energy, transport, and digitalisation. This high level of CAPEX is expected to continue over the next few years, representing a great opportunity for investors and an increased level of activity in the global economy.

Sectorial CAPEX Trends

As technological advances continue to shape our world and affect how businesses operate, capital expenditure (CAPEX) trends are essential to understand. We explore some of the ways that certain sectors allocate their CAPEX and the future forecast of CAPEX expenditure.

CAPEX in the technology industry

The technology industry is constantly evolving, which means there is an ongoing need for up-to-date equipment, tools, and other resources to remain competitive. This drives up the need for substantial CAPEX investment in order to remain on the cutting edge. According to GlobalData, the technology and media industries account for roughly 19.3% of global CAPEX, representing the largest portion of any individual sector.

In 2020, cloud infrastructure is expected to be the largest area of investment for technology companies. This is driven by the need for quickly scalable storage and computing resources. Additionally, spending on artificial intelligence (AI) and associated technologies is also expected to be on the rise.

CAPEX in the banking industry

The banking industry is also heavily investing in emerging technologies, primarily those that focus on customer experience, such as mobile banking and apps. Additionally, banking institutions have a strong emphasis on security, and trends show that large amounts of CAPEX spending is being allocated to cyber-security measures to protect both customer data and institution’s assets.

According to PwC, the banking sector is expected to invest more heavily in digital transformation to remain competitive. This is expected to involve large CAPEX investments in areas such as data storage and computing systems, as well as customer-facing technologies such as mobile payments.

CAPEX in the healthcare industry

Healthcare companies are also heavily investing in technology, though the focus is on systems and machines that improve the efficiency of medical operations. This includes investments in both front-end technologies such as patient-facing applications, as well as back-end operations including health records management systems.

CAPEX investment in healthcare companies is also expected to be directed towards remote monitoring and diagnostics, driven by the need to make healthcare more accessible to those in remote areas. Additionally, robotics will play a major role in the healthcare industry in the near future, with CAPEX spending going towards the development of robotic systems for medical operations.

Impact of Covid-19 on CAPEX

Effects on Global CAPEX

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, global Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) have been adversely impacted. As governments implemented widespread lockdowns, economies across the world experienced a downturn, forcing many organizations to cut costs and reduce their CAPEX. Furthermore, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the appetite of investors willing to invest in new projects.

Effects on Regional CAPEX

The effects of the pandemic on regional CAPEX vary widely. For example, in European countries, most investment decisions are expected to be delayed until 2021 due to uncertainty over the economic effects of COVID-19. On the other hand, countries in Asia have been quicker to recover, and the investments are expected to pick up much sooner.

Effects on Sectorial CAPEX

The COVID-19 pandemic has had major impacts on different sectors. The services sector, which is the major consumer of capital, is among the most affected. Sectors such as automotive, hospitality, and retail have seen major drops in consumer demand, leading to severe cuts in CAPEX. In contrast, sectors such as healthcare and technology have seen an increase in demand and therefore capital expenditure.

Future Outlook

Capital expenditure (CAPEX) trends, forecasts, and outlooks vary depending on location and economic climate. Yet, beyond the current outlook, an analysis of the short, mid, and long-term predictions can provide valuable insight and understanding. This section will explore the expected CAPEX trends and outlook in the short, mid and long-term, as well as potential risks to consider.

CAPEX in the Short Term

In the short term, CAPEX is likely to be variable, depending on the economic climate in each country. In most countries, public and private CAPEX will remain weak, or even shrink, when economic activity is affected by global economic pressures or other economic, social, and political factors. On the other hand, certain countries with strong governmental initiatives and relatively stable economic climates could lead the way for steady or even increase CAPEX.

CAPEX in the Long Term

In the long term, an overall global slowdown in CAPEX may be expected, particularly in the energy sector due to a shift away from traditional large energy investments. This could be offset by increased investments in small scale and sustainable energy solutions, as well as in digital and communication infrastructure.

Potential risks to CAPEX

Uncertainty in the global economy, including macroeconomic risks, political uncertainty, potential trade wars, and even new technologies, could all have an impact on CAPEX. Businesses should be aware of these risks, both in terms of current investments and potential investments.

  • A global economic slowdown could reduce CAPEX growth
  • Increased political tension and uncertainties can reduce investments in new technologies
  • Emerging technologies and new industries could disrupt existing trends for CAPEX
  • Increase in trade wars could reduce investments due to increased tariff/non-tariff barriers


The CAPEX forecasts analysis undertaken in this blog post has revealed some important insights pertaining to the current state of investments of infrastructure and capital goods around the world. Trends indicate that there has been an overall increase in CAPEX spending from the year 2011 onwards, with a slight decline noted in the later years up to 2018, followed by a steady increase. Countries such as China, India, and Australia have been the major drivers for such investment, with China contributing more than half of the global CAPEX investments.

Besides, the forecasts provided by financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank have offered a certain level of predictability in investment trends. Such projections have indicated persistent investment reliance on countries like India and China, in the coming years.

Summary of Findings

To sum up, the findings of this blog post are evidence of a worldwide increase in CAPEX investments, notably in the last decade. China and India have been the major contributors to such growth, along with countries like Australia. Other reports reveal that there is still potential for rising investment in the sector. Despite a predicted slowdown in 2020, the global CAPEX investment is expected to continue its upward trajectory in the following years.

Benefits of CAPEX Projections

The results of this blog post further confirm the importance of CAPEX projections for investors. Accurate CAPEX projections enable investors to get a much better idea of the possible financial outcomes and make informed decisions about their investments. Furthermore, organizations are able to build up economic models, based on the forecasts.

In conclusion, CAPEX projections play an important role in the global economy, by providing insight into the financial opportunities available. Knowing upcoming trends can provide vital information to investors, enabling them to exploit the potential and maximize their returns.

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