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Despite Downturn, Industry R&D Holds Steady in 2001

October 10, 2003

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has given us the first peek at the results of the 2001 survey of industrial research and development expenditures and, while the news is better than expected given the economy, the first figures provide further evidence of the struggles of the U.S. manufacturing base. Issue Brief 04-301, U.S. Industry Sustains R&D Expenditures During 2001 Despite Decline in Performers' Aggregate Sales, provides aggregate figures for industrial R&D by performer, size of company, and sector.

Overall, NSF found company funding of R&D totaled $181.6 billion in 2001. Before adjusting for inflation, the amount is up from the 2000 total of $180.4 billion. In constant dollars, industrial R&D expeditures declined less than one percent.

When the total is distributed between manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries, a different picture emerges. In constant dollars, manufacturing industries posted a 3.7 percent drop in R&D expenditures between 2000 and 2001. Non-manufacturing industry R&D, on the other hand rose by 1.5 percent.

The Issue Brief is available at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?nsf04301