Report: Defense Companies Expect Surge in European Arms Spending

Defense contractors expect an increase in weapons spending as NATO countries work to increase their military budgets amid President-elect Donald Trump’s skepticism about the alliance and his call for U.S. allies to pay more for their own defense, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Rick Clough writes Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Thales are among the defense companies whose stocks have hit record highs since Trump’s victory in the presidential election.

Analysts expect an arms spending spree in Europe as Germany, France, Poland and other NATO members work to meet their defense spending levels at 2 percent of their gross domestic product.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, arms spending in Middle Eastern countries rose by approximately one-third during President Barack Obama’s first six years in office.

Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas Kennedy said the company expects a similar “uptick” in weapons spending in Europe under the incoming administration.

The report also cited other defense contractors whose stocks rose following Trump’s election such as BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and L3 Technologies.

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