EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, Tuesday, September 27, 2016
BEA 16—51

U.S. Net International Investment Position
Second Quarter 2016

The U.S. net international investment position at the end of the second quarter of 2016 was -$8,042.8 billion (preliminary), according to statistics released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The net investment position at the end of the first quarter was -$7,582.0 billion (revised).

  • The net investment position decreased $460.8 billion or 6.1 percent in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 4.1 percent in the first quarter, and an average quarterly decrease of 6.1 percent from the first quarter of 2011 through the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • The $460.8 billion decrease in the net position reflected a $479.9 billion decrease in the net position excluding financial derivatives that was partly offset by a $19.1 billion increase in the net position in financial derivatives.

U.S. assets increased $404.1 billion to $24,465.9 billion at the end of the second quarter, reflecting increases in both financial derivatives and assets excluding financial derivatives.

  • Financial derivatives with a positive fair value increased $241.4 billion to $3,223.7 billion, mostly in single-currency interest rate contracts.
  • Assets excluding financial derivatives increased $162.7 billion to $21,242.1 billion, reflecting increases in other investment, portfolio investment, and reserve assets that were partly offset by a decrease in direct investment. Increases resulting from financial transactions were partly offset by depreciation of major foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar that lowered the value of U.S. assets in dollar terms.

U.S. liabilities increased $864.9 billion to $32,508.7 billion at the end of the second quarter, reflecting increases in both financial derivatives and liabilities excluding financial derivatives.

  • Liabilities excluding financial derivatives increased $642.6 billion to $29,343.0 billion, reflecting increases in all major categories of liabilities. Increases resulting from financial transactions and increases in U.S. bond and equity prices contributed to the increase in liabilities.
  • Financial derivatives with a negative fair value increased $222.3 billion to $3,165.7 billion, mostly in single-currency interest rate contracts.

Updates to International Investment Position Statistics

Updates to First-Quarter 2016 International Investment Position Aggregates Billions of dollars, not seasonally adjusted
  Preliminary estimate Revised estimate
U.S. net international investment position -7,525.6 -7,582.0
  U.S. assets 24,082.9 24,061.8
    Direct investment at market value 7,012.4 6,993.1
    Portfolio investment 9,622.7 9,607.1
    Financial derivatives 2,981.8 2,982.3
    Other investment 4,034.1 4,047.3
    Reserve assets 432.0 432.0
  U.S. liabilities 31,608.5 31,643.8
    Direct investment at market value 6,637.6 6,664.8
    Portfolio investment 16,907.3 16,916.9
    Financial derivatives 2,942.6 2,943.3
    Other investment 5,121.0 5,118.8

Next release: December 29, 2016, at 8:30 A.M. EST
U.S. Net International Investment Position, Third Quarter 2016

Additional Information

Resources

Definitions

The International Investment Position (IIP) is a statistical balance sheet that presents the dollar value of U.S. financial assets and liabilities with respect to foreign residents at a specific point in time. BEA presents IIP statistics at the end of a quarter or year (March, June, September, and December). For the June release, BEA also presents statistics on changes in the yearend position that are disaggregated into financial-account transactions and other changes in position.

The U.S. net international investment position is defined as the value of U.S. assets less the value of U.S. liabilities.

Financial transactions are transactions between U.S. residents and nonresidents in financial assets and liabilities. They are recorded in the Financial Account of the International Transactions Accounts (ITAs). See Related Statistics below.

Other changes in position are changes in the value of U.S. assets or liabilities arising from any source besides a financial-account transaction. Other changes in position include price changes, exchange-rate changes, and changes in volume and valuation not included elsewhere (n.i.e.).

Price changes (only presented for annual statistics in the June news release) are changes in the value of an asset or liability due to changes in the market price of a security.

Exchange-rate changes (only presented for annual statistics in the June news release) are changes in the value of foreign-currency denominated assets and liabilities due to changes in the values of foreign currencies relative to the value of the U.S. dollar.

Changes in volume and valuation n.i.e. (only presented for annual statistics in the June news release) reflect changes in position due to year-to-year shifts in the composition of reporting panels, the incorporation of more comprehensive annual and benchmark survey results, and revaluations (holding gains and losses) on assets and liabilities that are not explained by price changes or exchange-rate changes.

Functional categories are the primary classification system used in the IIP accounts and in the financial account of the International Transactions Accounts. The five functional categories are direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives other than reserves, other investment, and reserve assets. While the functional categories are based on features that are relevant for understanding cross-border financial transactions and positions, they also take into account some aspects of the relationship between transactors and the economic motivation for the investment. Within the functional categories, the IIP accounts are classified by type of financial instrument.

Direct investment is a category of cross-border investment associated with a resident in one economy having control or a significant degree of influence on the management of an enterprise resident in another economy. Ownership or control of 10 percent or more of the nonresident entity's voting securities is the threshold for separating direct investment from other types of investment. Direct investment positions include positions in equity and debt instruments. BEA's IIP statistics feature the market value measure of direct investment positions, a measure that values owner's equity at current-period prices using indexes of stock market prices.

Portfolio investment consists of cross-border positions involving equity and investment fund shares and debt securities, excluding those included in direct investment or reserve assets. Debt securities are classified by original maturity (short term vs. long term at the time of issue).

Financial derivatives other than reserves consist of cross-border positions arising from financial contracts that are linked to underlying financial instruments, commodities, or indicators. Positions in financial derivatives consist of contracts with positive and negative fair values. A contract with a positive fair value is a U.S. asset and represents the amount that a foreign resident would have to pay to a U.S. counterparty if the contract were terminated or settled. A contract with a negative fair value is a U.S. liability and represents the amount that a U.S. resident would have to pay to a foreign counterparty if the contract were terminated or settled. The gross positive (negative) fair value is the sum across all contracts with positive (negative) fair values. Fair values differ from notional values, which are the underlying amounts used to calculate payments on contracts. Gross positive and gross negative fair values for financial derivatives positions are available separately in table 1. However, transactions and other changes in financial derivatives positions are only available for the net position in financial derivatives. For other changes in position for financial derivatives presented in the June news release, statistics are not separately available for price changes, exchange-rate changes, and changes in volume and valuation n.i.e.

Other investment includes cross-border positions other than those included in direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives, and reserve assets. Other investment positions consist of positions in currency and deposits, loans, insurance technical reserves, trade credit and advances, and, for liabilities, special drawing rights allocations.

Reserve assets are those external assets that are readily available to and controlled by U.S. monetary authorities for meeting balance of payments financing needs, for intervention in exchange markets to affect the currency exchange rate, and for other related purposes such as maintaining confidence in the currency and the economy and serving as a basis for foreign borrowing. The major published components are monetary gold, International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing rights (SDRs), reserve position in the IMF, and other reserve assets.

Release and update cycle

Preliminary quarterly IIP account statistics are released in March, June, September, and December, approximately 90 days after the end of the reference quarter. These statistics are updated the following quarter to incorporate new source data. Quarterly statistics are open for revision for at least the prior three years in annual revisions released in June. Preliminary annual statistics are released in March reflecting positions at the end of the fourth quarter of the previous year. These annual statistics are open for revision for at least the prior three years in subsequent annual updates.

Related statistics

The IIP account statistics comprise one part of a broader set of U.S. international economic accounts that, taken together, provide a comprehensive, integrated and detailed picture of U.S. international economic activities.

The International Transactions Accounts (ITAs) are released quarterly. Financial-account transactions reported in the ITAs are one type of changes in position recorded in the IIP Accounts.

Statistics on direct investment and multinational enterprises (MNEs) include annual statistics on the activities of MNEs, detailed annual and quarterly statistics on direct investment, and annual statistics on new investment in the United States.

Statistics on International Services include detailed annual information on trade in services and on services supplied through the channel of direct investment by affiliates of multinational enterprises.

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, released by BEA and the U.S. Census Bureau, provides monthly statistics on trade in goods and services.

List of News Release Tables

Table 1. U.S. Net International Investment Position at the End of the Period