The Big Picture
(Business 2.0) – FINANCE
VCs Bet on Biotech
Venture capitalists invested less than a fifth as much money last year as they did in 2000, but biotech is their new darling. The life sciences captured 27 percent of last year's $18.2 billion outlay, compared with just 6 percent of the $105.9 billion advanced three years earlier.
Venture Capital Funding by Industry
$105.9 $18.2 (in billions)
Biotechnology 4% 19% Software 20% 20% Telecommunications 17% 11% Medical devices & equipment 2% 8% Networking & equipment 10% 8% Others[*] 47% 34%
[*] Includes IT services, media, energy, and eight other sectors. Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers/Thomson Venture Economics/National Venture Capital Association Money Tree Survey
Benefits' Bigger Bite
Employers held wage costs to a modest increase of less than 3 percent last year. The same can't be said for benefit expenses, which jumped more than 6.5 percent. Most of the increase came from soaring health-care and workers' comp fees.
Note: Data not seasonally adjusted. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Online Underworld
According to the Federal Trade Commission, 55 percent of all fraud complaints filed with the agency last year were Internet-related, up from 45 percent in 2002. Of these, online auctions accounted for almost half. All told, U.S. consumers lost $200 million last year as a result of Internet fraud.
Most Common Internet-Related Fraud Complaints
Internet auctions 48% Shop-at-home & catalog sales 20% Internet access services 8% Internet information & adult services 6% Foreign money offers 4% Computer equipment & software 2% Business opportunities 2%
Source: Federal Trade Commission
A Balanced View of China's Trade
Imports from the People's Republic accounted for 23 percent of America's $470 billion global trade deficit last year. From the other side of the Pacific, however, China looks less like an exporting monster. The nation maintains only a modest overall surplus and actually increased imports by 40 percent last year.
2003 (in billions)
U.S. Exports to China $25 U.S. Imports From China $139
China's Total Exports $438 China's Total Imports $413
Note: Through November. Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce; PRC Ministry of Commerce