Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) is an internationally standardised measure that captures whole economy investment, covering business, government and residential investment. International data on GFCF is available from the OECD, while data on the UK can be found in the ONS' business investment release;
Detailed internationally comparable data on investment are not readily available. Some countries also collect data on the shares of GFCF carried out by different institutional sectors, especially that conducted by general government; this data can be obtained from the OECD.
While some forms of intangible investment are captured in the standard national accounts measure of investment (most notably software), a large range of intangible assets are not, including research and development, advertising, organisational know-how and training. The most comprehensive set of internationally comparable estimates are produced by
These are produced on a market-sector basis and are therefore not directly comparable with the OECD statistics referenced above, which cover both market and non-market activity.
It should be noted that a range of forthcoming changes to national accounting rules will affect cross-country estimates of GFCF and GDP. The most relevant of these for estimates of GFCF are the inclusion of spending on research and development and weapons systems. Further details can be found on the ONS website, at the following address: