Excellent news, everybody: American businesses are now scaling back on investment plans at the fastest pace since the official recession — and seeing as how investment is a very basic and key driver of economic growth, I’d say that that doesn’t bode too well for our weaksauce ‘recovery.’ Who could’ve seen this coming?

Half of the nation’s 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of securities filings and conference calls.

Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software—a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector—stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined. …