EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, Tuesday, December 29, 2015
BEA 15—68

U.S. Net International Investment Position: End of the Third Quarter of 2015

The U.S. net international investment position at the end of the third quarter of 2015 was -$7,269.8 billion (preliminary) as the value of U.S. liabilities exceeded the value of U.S. assets (chart 1, table 1). At the end of the second quarter, the net investment position was -$6,743.1 billion (revised).


Highlights

  • The $526.7 billion decrease in the net investment position reflected net other changes in position of -$514.9 billion and net financial transactions of -$11.8 billion. Other changes in position include price changes, exchange-rate changes, and other changes in volume and valuation.
  • U.S. assets decreased $1,233.3 billion and U.S. liabilities decreased $706.6 billion, mostly as a result of decreases in the value of portfolio and direct investment assets and liabilities.
  • U.S. assets excluding financial derivatives decreased $1,496.6 billion, reflecting other changes in position of -$1,419.3 billion and financial transactions of -$77.3 billion.
  • U.S. liabilities excluding financial derivatives decreased $961.8 billion, reflecting other changes in position of -$897.1 billion and financial transactions of -$64.7 billion.

The decrease in the net investment position reflected equity price decreases for U.S. assets and liabilities and the depreciation of foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar. The net investment position decreased 7.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.9 percent in the second quarter and an average quarterly decrease of 6.7 percent from the first quarter of 2011 through the first quarter of 2015. The net investment position was equal to 3.5 percent of the value of all U.S. financial assets at the end of the third quarter, up from 3.2 percent at the end of the second quarter.1

U.S. assets were $23,311.9 billion at the end of the third quarter compared with $24,545.2 billion at the end of the second quarter (chart 2). The $1,233.3 billion decrease reflected a $1,496.6 billion decrease in the value of assets excluding financial derivatives that was partly offset by a $263.3 billion increase in the value of financial derivatives.

U.S. assets excluding financial derivatives were $20,590.7 billion at the end of the third quarter compared with $22,087.3 billion at the end of the second quarter. The $1,496.6 billion decrease reflected a $1,419.3 billion decrease resulting from other changes in position and a $77.3 billion decrease resulting from financial transactions.2 Other changes in position mostly reflected decreases in foreign equity prices that lowered the value of U.S. direct investment and portfolio investment assets, and to a lesser extent, the depreciation of major foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar that lowered the value of U.S. assets in dollar terms.3

U.S. liabilities were $30,581.8 billion at the end of the third quarter compared with $31,288.3 billion at the end of the second quarter (chart 2). The $706.6 billion decrease reflected a $961.8 billion decrease in the value of liabilities excluding financial derivatives that was partly offset by a $255.3 billion increase in the value of financial derivatives.

U.S. liabilities excluding financial derivatives were $27,917.1 billion at the end of the third quarter compared with $28,879.0 billion at the end of the second quarter. The $961.8 billion decrease reflected an $897.1 billion decrease resulting from other changes in position and a $64.7 billion decrease resulting from financial transactions. Other changes in position mostly reflected decreases in U.S. equity prices that lowered the value of U.S. direct investment and portfolio investment liabilities.

Revisions

The U.S. net international investment position at the end of the second quarter of 2015 was revised to -$6,743.1 billion from the previously-published value of -$6,688.3 billion. The $54.8 billion downward revision to the net position reflected a $7.5 billion upward revision to U.S. assets and a $62.3 billion upward revision to U.S. liabilities.

U.S. assets at the end of the second quarter were revised to $24,545.2 billion from $24,537.7 billion; U.S. liabilities were revised to $31,288.3 billion from $31,226.0 billion. These revisions reflect revised source data from the Treasury International Capital (TIC) reporting system and from BEAs quarterly surveys of direct investment.

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NOTE: This news release is available on BEAs Web (www.bea.gov) site along with Highlights related to this release, the latest detailed statistics for the U.S. international investment position, and a description of the estimation methods used to compile them. The third-quarter statistics in this release are preliminary and will be revised on March 31, 2016.

1 Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRS), Financial Accounts of the United States, Third Quarter 2015, Z.1. Statistical Release (Washington, DC: FRS, December 10, 2015). According to the December release, the value of all U.S. financial assets was $205,068.1 billion at the end of the third quarter. The value of U.S. assets abroad was $23,311.9 billion, or 11.4 percent of all U.S. financial assets, down from 11.8 percent at the end of the second quarter.

2 For statistics on financial transactions, see the financial account in table 1.2 of the U.S. International Transactions Accounts. Quarterly financial transactions presented in this release are not seasonally adjusted. Detail on other changes in position such as price changes, exchange-rate changes, and other changes in volume and valuation is presented only for annual statistics in the June release each year.

3 According to the Federal Reserve Boards major currencies index, foreign currencies depreciated 2.5 percent against the U.S. dollar from the end of the second quarter to the end of the third quarter. The major currencies index is a weighted average of the foreign exchange values of the U.S. dollar against a subset of the broad index currencies that circulate widely outside the country of issue. See Foreign Exchange RatesH10 (weekly release of daily data), Nominal Major Currencies Index at www.federalreserve.gov.

Release dates in 2016

End of the Fourth Quarter and Year 2015 March 31, 2016 (Thursday)
End of the First Quarter of 2016, Year 2015, and Annual Revisions June 30, 2016 (Thursday)
End of the Second Quarter of 2016 September 27, 2016 (Tuesday)
End of the Third Quarter of 2016 December 29, 2016 (Thursday)

BEA statistics—including GDP, personal income, the balance of payments, foreign direct investment, the input-output accounts, and economic statistics for states, local areas, and industries—are available on the BEA Web site: www.bea.gov. E-mail alerts are also available.