Report: $250B Available Worldwide for US Investment

Wednesday, 17 Aug 2011 10:45 AM

By Greg McDonald

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A public affairs consulting firm says at least $250 billion is available worldwide this year for investment in public-private partnerships in the United States, which could reduce unemployment 14 percent by creating nearly 1.9 million jobs.
The report from Sphere Consulting LLC notes that most of the jobs would likely be created in the construction industry, which Sphere officials said in a news release “has sustained significantly higher unemployment figures than the national averages during the recession.”
The report, which focuses on how the private sector can work with government to stimulate economic growth, said private investment dollars — combined with federal and state contributions — could add as much as $625 billion to U.S. infrastructure development.
The report should come as good news for President Barack Obama, who in July said the country should focus on putting over a million unemployed construction workers back to work rebuilding the nation’s vital infrastructure.
The Sphere report, which was produced in coordination with more than a dozen American and international financial firms, noted that private investment would help free up taxpayer dollars for use in other areas, shift some of the risk of public projects to the private sector, and generate economic growth in other sectors of the economy as well.
But the report cautioned that the investment money might not be available for very long.
“What is important to note is that these dollars can be invested throughout the world as more and more governments are becoming increasingly competitive for partnering with private investors to enhance their infrastructure,” said Addison Smith, vice president of Sphere, which has offices in Washington, London and Buenos Aires.

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