On the cash flow statement and in economics, investment means spending that results in an increase in assets. This includes capital spending on plant and equipment, i.e. a real increase in the means of production; but it also includes any swelling of unsold inventory, which can indicate a problem with consumer demand.

Residential investment mainly refers to the purchase of homes.

Annual business and residential investment respectively make up about 12% and 4% of the GDP; see the interactive GDP Diagram.

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