A report published by the OECD in September reveals that business spending on R&D fell a record 4.5% in 2009 due to the economic crisis. And if that was not enough, the current weak economic recovery will likely lead to sluggish growth in R&D spending by firms, notably in Southern and Eastern Europe, in the forseeable future. The outlook for France, Germany, the UK and the USA is also uncertain, according to the report. On the other hand, spending by Asian economies continued to increase during the crisis; year-on-year growth in R&D investment by firms in 2012 was 29.5% in China and 20.5% in Korea and India.

Government R&D spending partly offset the fall in business investment, as many governments devoted a substantial part of their stimulus packages to support R&D and innovation. Government R&D spending as a share of GDP was 0.82% in 2009, up from 0.78% in 2005. The outlook for public spending on innovation varies widely across the OECD. Greece, Ireland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain foresee a decrease in government spending on R&D in the coming years. France, the UK and the USA expect to maintain their curent spending levels, while others, including Chile, Denmark, Germany and Turkey, plan to boost spending in the short-term.

More information, including access to the complete Excel data file, can be found at http://www.oecd.org/innovation/innovationeconomiccrisisandweakoutlookhitrdsaysoecd.htm

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