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Corporate cash may not be dead, but it sure is resting Add to ...

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The unprecedented pile of cash on North America’s corporate balance sheets might finally be set to shrink. But while the so-called “dead money” is showing signs of life, it would be a big stretch to call it lively, at least from a broader economic perspective.

Independent financial market research firm FactSet reported this week that cash holdings at S&P 500 companies were $1.34-trillion (U.S.) in the first quarter, down 4.7 per cent from the prior quarter. That’s the first decline since 2012, snapping a string of six consecutive quarterly increases that had added nearly $200-billion to the U.S. stash.

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