Corporate investment in new business facilities such as office buildings, industrial campuses, and call centers rose to a record $1.2 trillion in the United States in 2004, its highest level since 2000, according to a new publication by Ernst & Young LLP.Of the total, $270 billion was spent on new facilities and $950 billion was spent on replacing or modernizing facilities, says the report, titled "US Investment Monitor." Six of the top 15 capital investment projects announced last year are in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina, but they were in the early stages of development and appear to be ready to proceed, Ernst & Young said. The state in which business facilities expanded the fastest in 2004 was Texas, where $13 billion was invested, more than twice as much as second-place Michigan, the company reported. Ernst & Young can be found online at http://www.ey.com.

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