BOSTON – Political uncertainty in the United States could prompt corporate America to throttle back on capital spending, the chief executive of General Electric Co warned in his annual letter to shareholders.
"The U.S. faces more major 'political storms' this year: the fiscal situation, repeated debt-limit controversy and tax reform. We fear that this uncertainty will impact capital investment," CEO Jeff Immelt said in a copy of the letter provided to Reuters on Monday.
The leaves the largest U.S. conglomerate more confident in its growth in big developing markets including China, Africa and the Middle East, Immelt said.
The world's largest maker of jet engines and electric turbines regards boosting its dividend as a "clear priority" over the next few years and plans to make "significant progress" towards its goal of buying back shares to reduce its share count to 10 billion, its level before the company sold additional shares during the financial crisis, Immelt said.
GE shares were off 1 percent to $23.52 on Monday.
(Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)