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GOP Tax Cuts No Major Impact on Business Investment or Hiring: Survey



WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration's $ 1.5 trillion cut tax package did not have a major impact on business capital investment or hiring plans, according to a survey released a year after the largest overhaul of the US tax code in more than 30 years

The National Association of Business Economics (NABE) quarterly business conditions poll published on Monday found that while some companies reported accelerating investments because of lower corporate taxes, 84 percent of respondents said they had not changed plans. That compares to 81

percent in the previous survey published in October

The White House had predicted that the massive fiscal stimulus package, marked by a 21 percent reduction in corporate tax rate from 35 percent, would boost business spending and job growth. The tax cuts came into effect in January 2018.

"A large majority of respondents, 84 percent, indicate that one year after their passage, corporate tax reform has not caused their firms to change their hiring or investment plans," said NABE President Kevin Swift

The lower tax rates, however, have had an impact on the goods-producing sector, with 50 percent of respondents from that sector reporting increased investments at their companies, and 20 percent saying they have redirected hiring and investments to United States from abroad

The NABE survey also suggested a further slowdown in business spending after moderating sharply in the third quarter of 2018. The survey's measure of capital spending fell in January to its lowest level since July 2017. Expectations for capital spending for the next three months also weakened.

"Fewer firms have increased capital spending compared to October survey responses, but the cutback seems to be more concentrated n structures than in information and communications technology investments, "said Swift, who is also chief economist at the American Chemistry Council.

According to the survey, employment growth improved modestly in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter. Just over a third of respondents reported rising employment in their businesses over the past three months, up from 31 percent in the October survey. The survey's forward-looking measure of employment slipped to 25 in January from 29 in October

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