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NEW YORK--(Business Wire)-- In the face of a severe global recession, the world`s 1,000 largest publicly traded corporate research and development spenders increased spending on R&D in 2008, affirming the critical importance of innovation to their corporate strategies, according to global management consulting firm Booz & Company`s fifth annual analysis of global innovation spending, released today. R&D outlays for these companies rose by 5.7 percent to US$532 billion, even as sales were up only 6.5 percent. While the increase in 2008 R&D spend was less dramatic than 2007's gain of 10 percent, it was just slightly less than the 7.1 percent global five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for R&D.

Overall, more than two thirds of companies maintained or increased their R&D spending in 2008, despite more than a third (34 percent) reporting that net income plummeted last year, according to the study. More than a quarter of companies decreased their R&D allocation in 2008.

Despite Recession, World`s Leading Corporate Innovators Increased R&D Spending in 2008, Finds New Booz & CompanyStudy