Google (GOOG) spent $452 million on its infrastructure in the third quarter of 2008, which was its lowest investment in capital expenditures since the company began its data center building boom in early 2007. The third quarter total was well below the record $842 million Google spent on its data centers in the first quarter, as well as the $698 million second quarter total. Here's a look at the recent trend:
The decline is likely explained by the company's completion of construction on the first phase of its data center campuses in Lenoir, North Carolina and Goose Creek, South Carolina. Google is continuing work on data center construction projections in Pryot, Oklahoma and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Google's data center investment could surge again, however. In the company's conference call with analysts this afternoon, CEO Eric Schmidt noted that capex is "a lumpy business, think about data centers going up. We have no plans of slowing down. You just see the nature of that lumpiness. Every extra unit of capacity is cheaper for us."