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News Release: U.S. International Transactions

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FOR WIRE TRANSMISSION: 8:30 A.M. EDT, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011
BEA 11-10


Sarah P. Scott (202) 606-9286  
U.S. International Transactions: Fourth Quarter and Year 2010
                                Fourth Quarter

                                Current Account


      The U.S. current-account deficit—the combined balances on trade in goods and
services, income, and net unilateral current transfers—decreased to $113.3 billion
(preliminary) in the fourth quarter of 2010, from $125.5 billion (revised) in the
third quarter of 2010.  The decrease was more than accounted for by a decrease in
the deficit on goods; an increase in the surplus on services also contributed. A
decline in the surplus on income and an increase in net unilateral current transfers
were partly offsetting.

Goods and services

      The deficit on goods and services decreased to $116.7 billion in the fourth
quarter from $132.6 billion in the third.

      Goods

      The deficit on goods decreased to $156.2 billion in the fourth quarter from
$170.8 billion in the third.

      Goods exports increased to $342.3 billion from $323.5 billion.  Most major
end-use categories increased; industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds,
and beverages accounted for most of the increase. The increase in industrial
supplies and materials mainly reflected increases in petroleum and products and
in chemicals. The increase in foods, feeds, and beverages was mostly accounted
for by gains in soybeans and in grains and preparations. (See Table 2a for the
latest available statistics.)

      Goods imports increased to $498.5 billion from $494.4 billion.  Most major
end-use categories increased; the increase was more than accounted for by gains in
industrial supplies and materials.  An increase in capital goods also contributed.
Industrial supplies and materials increased as a result of pickups in petroleum and
products and in nonmonetary gold. The increase in capital goods reflected gains in
machinery and equipment.  Decreases in automotive vehicles, parts and engines and
in consumer goods partly offset the increases in other categories of goods imports.
Passenger cars accounted for most of the decrease in automotive vehicles, parts and
engines and nondurable goods accounted for most of the decrease in consumer goods.
(See Table 2a for the latest available statistics.)

      Services

      The surplus on services increased to $39.5 billion in the fourth quarter from
$38.2 billion in the third.

      Services receipts increased to $139.9 billion from $138.2 billion.  The
largest increases were in other private services and in travel.

      Services payments increased to $100.5 billion from $100.0 billion.  The
increase was more than accounted for by other private services.  A decrease in
other transportation was partly offsetting.

Income

      The surplus on income decreased to $38.6 billion in the fourth quarter from
$41.4 billion in the third.

      Investment income

      Income receipts on U.S.-owned assets abroad increased to $171.3 billion from
$164.7 billion.  Most of the increase was in direct investment receipts. Other
private receipts (which consists of interest and dividends) also increased.

      Income payments on foreign-owned assets in the United States increased to
$130.6 billion from $121.2 billion.  The increase was largely due to an increase
in direct investment payments.  Other private payments (which consists of interest
and dividends) also increased.

      Compensation of employees

      Receipts for compensation of U.S. workers abroad remained at $0.8 billion in
the fourth quarter.  Payments for compensation of foreign workers in the United
States remained at $2.9 billion.

Unilateral current transfers

      Net unilateral current transfers to foreigners were $35.2 billion in the
fourth quarter, up from $34.2 billion in the third.  The increase was accounted
for by increases in U.S. government grants and private remittances and other transfers.

                                 Capital Account

      Net capital account payments were zero in the fourth quarter, compared with
$0.1 billion (outflows) in the third quarter.

                                Financial Account

      Net financial inflows were $32.4 billion in the fourth quarter, down from
$137.0 billion in the third.  Growth in both U.S.-owned assets abroad and foreign-
owned assets in the United States slowed from that of the third quarter; however,
the slowdown in foreign-owned assets was greater than that of U.S.-owned assets.

U.S.-owned assets abroad

      U.S.-owned assets abroad increased $241.2 billion in the fourth quarter,
following an increase of $341.0 billion in the third.

      U.S. claims on foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers
increased $96.9 billion in the fourth quarter, following an increase of $193.5
billion in the third.  (Examples of these claims are U.S. banks’ deposits at foreign
banks and U.S. banks’ loans to foreigners.)

      Net U.S. purchases of foreign securities were $50.2 billion in the fourth
quarter following net U.S. purchases of $50.5 billion in the third.  Net U.S.
purchases of foreign stocks picked up to $28.9 billion from $16.7 billion.  Net
purchases of foreign bonds slowed to $21.3 billion from $33.7 billion. (See Table
8a for the latest available statistics.)

      U.S. direct investment abroad was $92.1 billion in the fourth quarter, up
from $78.1 billion in the third.  The largest portion of the increase in direct
investment was an increase in equity outflows. A shift to outflows from inflows
in net intercompany debt investment abroad and an increase in reinvested earnings
also contributed. (See Table 7a for the latest available statistics.)

      U.S. claims on unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns
increased $2.0 billion in the fourth quarter, following an increase of $18.6 billion
in the third.

      U.S. official reserve assets decreased $0.2 billion in the fourth quarter,
following an increase of $1.1 billion in the third.

      U.S. government assets other than official reserve assets increased $0.3
billion in the fourth quarter, following a decrease of $0.8 billion in the third.

Foreign-owned assets in the United States

      Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $273.6 billion in the
fourth quarter, following an increase of $488.8 billion in the third.

      U.S. liabilities to foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers
(other than foreign official assets) increased $31.0 billion in the fourth quarter,
following an increase of $104.1 billion in the third.  (Examples of these liabilities
are deposits of foreign residents at banks in the United States and loans by banks
abroad to banks in the United States.)

      Net private foreign purchases of U.S. Treasury securities were $37.5 billion
in the fourth quarter, down from $64.5 billion in the third.

      Net private foreign purchases of U.S. securities other than U.S. Treasury
securities were $70.9 billion in the fourth quarter, following net purchases of
$104.1 billion in the third.  Net foreign purchases of U.S. federally sponsored
agency bonds slowed to $28.9 billion in the fourth quarter from $50.4 billion in
the third.  Net foreign purchases of U.S. corporate bonds were $2.0 billion, down
from $16.9 billion.  Net foreign purchases of U.S. stocks increased to $39.9 billion
from $36.7 billion. (See Table 8a for the latest available statistics.)

      Foreign direct investment in the United States was $55.8 billion in the
fourth quarter, following investment of $68.9 billion in the third.  The decrease
was more than accounted for by a slowing of equity inflows.  A pickup in net
intercompany debt investment in the United States and reinvested earnings partly
offset the decrease. (See Table 7a for the latest available statistics.)

      U.S. liabilities to unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking
concerns increased $15.9 billion in the fourth quarter, following an increase of
$3.8 billion in the third.

      Foreign official assets in the United States increased $49.1 billion in the
fourth quarter, following an increase of $132.9 billion in the third. The slowdown
was more than accounted for by a decrease in net foreign purchases of U.S. Treasury
securities.

      Net shipments of U.S. currency to foreign countries were $13.4 billion in the
fourth quarter, up from $10.5 billion in the third.

      The statistical discrepancy—net errors and omissions in recorded transactions—was
$80.9 billion in the fourth quarter compared with -$11.4 billion in the third.

      In the fourth quarter, the U.S. dollar depreciated 3.9 percent on a trade-weighted
quarterly average basis against a group of 7 major currencies. (Data are from Federal
Reserve Statistical Release H.10.)

                                  The Year 2010

                                 Current Account

      The U.S. current-account deficit—the combined balances on trade in goods and
services, income, and net unilateral current transfers—increased to $470.2 billion
(preliminary) in 2010 from $378.4 billion (revised) in 2009, the first annual increase
in the deficit since 2006.  The increase was more than accounted for by an increase
in the deficit on goods; an increase in net unilateral current transfers to foreigners
also contributed.  Increases in the surpluses on income and services were partly offsetting.

Goods and services

      The deficit on goods and services increased to $495.7 billion in 2010 from $374.9
billion in 2009.

      Goods

      The deficit on goods increased to $647.1 billion in 2010 from $506.9 billion
in 2009.

      Goods exports increased to $1,288.7 billion from $1,068.5 billion.  All major
end-use categories of exports increased substantially.  Industrial supplies and
materials and capital goods accounted for much of the increase.  The increase in
industrial supplies and materials resulted from nearly equal rises in petroleum and
products, in metals and nonmetallic products, and in chemicals.  The increase in
capital goods was led by gains in machinery and equipment.  (See Table 2a for the
latest available statistics.)

      Goods imports increased to $1,935.7 billion from $1,575.4 billion.  All major
end-use categories of imports increased, most of them substantially.  Industrial
supplies and materials and capital goods accounted for most of the increase.  The
increase in industrial supplies and materials was mostly accounted for by a rise in
petroleum and products, with a rise in metals and nonmetallic products also contributing.
The increase in capital goods was mostly accounted for by increases in machinery and
equipment.  (See Table 2a for the latest available statistics.)

      Services

      The surplus on services increased to $151.4 billion in 2010 from $132.0 billion
in 2009.

      Services receipts increased to $545.5 billion from $502.3 billion.  All major
categories of services receipts increased, with the largest increases in other private
services and travel.

      Services payments increased to $394.2 billion from $370.3 billion.  Nearly
every major category of services payments increased.  The increase largely resulted
from growth in other private services and other transportation.

Income

      The surplus on income increased to $163.0 billion in 2010 from $121.4 billion
in 2009.

      Investment income

      Income receipts on U.S.-owned assets abroad increased to $659.4 billion from
$585.3 billion.  The increase was more than accounted for by an increase in direct
investment receipts.  Decreases in U.S. government receipts and in other private
receipts (which consists of interest and dividends) partly offset the increase.

      Income payments on foreign-owned assets in the United States increased to
$488.0 billion from $456.0 billion.  The increase was more than accounted for by
an increase in direct investment payments.  Decreases in other private payments
(which consists of interest and dividends) and in U.S. government payments were
partly offsetting.

      Compensation of employees

      Receipts for compensation of U.S. workers abroad increased to $3.1 billion
from $2.9 billion.  Payments for compensation of foreign workers in the United
States increased to $11.5 billion from $10.8 billion.

Unilateral current transfers

      Net unilateral current transfers to foreigners were $137.5 billion in 2010,
up from $124.9 billion in 2009.  The change was mostly due to an increase in private
remittances and other transfers.  U.S. government grants and U.S. government pensions
and other transfers also increased.

                                  Capital Account

      Net capital account payments (outflows) increased slightly to $0.2 billion in
2010 from $0.1 billion in 2009.

                                 Financial Account

      Net financial inflows were $235.3 billion in 2010, up from $216.1 billion in
2009.  Growth in both U.S.-owned assets abroad and foreign-owned assets in the United
States picked up considerably.

U.S.-owned assets abroad

      U.S.-owned assets abroad increased $1,024.7 billion in 2010, following an
increase of $140.5 billion in 2009.

      U.S. claims on foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers
increased $519.1 billion in 2010, following an increase of $277.1 billion in 2009.
(Examples of these claims are U.S. banks’ deposits at foreign banks and U.S. banks’
loans to foreigners.)

      Net U.S. purchases of foreign securities were $167.2 billion in 2010 following
net U.S. purchases of $208.2 billion in 2009.  Net U.S. purchases of foreign stocks
increased to $78.6 billion from $63.3 billion.  Net U.S. purchases of foreign bonds
decreased to $88.6 billion from $144.9 billion. (See Table 8a for the latest
available statistics.)

      U.S. direct investment abroad was $345.6 billion in 2010, up from $268.7
billion in 2009.  The increase was almost entirely accounted for by an increase in
reinvested earnings.  Equity investment abroad also rose.  (See Table 7a for the
latest available statistics.)

      U.S. claims on unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns
decreased $1.5 billion in 2010, following a decrease of $124.4 billion in 2009.

      U.S. official reserve assets increased $1.8 billion in 2010, following an
increase of $52.3 billion in 2009.  The slowdown reflects the absence of special
drawing rights allocations or other extraordinary transactions in reserves in 2010,
after the record 2009 increase in reserve assets due to an unusual allocation of
special drawing rights to the United States.

      U.S. government assets other than official reserve assets decreased $7.5
billion in 2010, following a decrease of $541.3 billion in 2009.  The decrease
slowed because currency swaps between the U.S. and foreign central banks, initiated
in 2007 and 2008 under temporary reciprocal currency arrangements, were mostly
reversed in 2009, leaving a much smaller amount to be reversed in 2010.

Foreign-owned assets in the United States

      Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $1,244.8 billion in 2010,
following an increase of $305.7 billion in 2009.

      U.S. liabilities to foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers
(other than foreign official assets) increased $192.2 billion in 2010, following a
decrease of $313.0 billion in 2009.  (Examples of these liabilities are deposits of
foreign residents at banks in the United States and loans by banks abroad to banks
in the United States.)

      Net private foreign purchases of U.S. Treasury securities were $306.4 billion
in 2010, up from $22.8 billion in 2009.

      Net foreign purchases of U.S. securities other than U.S. Treasury securities
were $175.4 billion in 2010, up from $0.1 billion in 2009.  Net foreign purchases
of U.S. stocks were $116.7 billion, down from $136.4 billion.  Net foreign sales of
U.S. corporate bonds were $27.2 billion, after net sales of $130.6 billion in 2009.
Net foreign purchases of U.S. federally sponsored agency bonds were $86.0 billion,
a shift from net foreign sales of $5.7 billion. (See Table 8a for the latest
available statistics.)

      Foreign direct investment in the United States was $194.5 billion in 2010,
following investment of $134.7 billion in 2009.  The pickup was more than accounted
for by a pickup in reinvested earnings.  A decrease in equity investment in the
United States was partly offsetting. (See Table 7a for the latest available
statistics.)

      U.S. liabilities to unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns
increased $50.0 billion in 2010, following a decrease of $1.5 billion in 2009.

      Foreign official assets in the United States increased $298.0 billion in 2010,
following an increase of $450.0 billion in 2009.  The slowdown was more than accounted
for by a decrease in net foreign purchases of U.S. Treasury securities.

      Net U.S. currency shipments to foreign countries were $28.3 billion in 2010,
up from $12.6 billion in 2009.

      The statistical discrepancy—net errors and omissions in recorded transactions—was
$235.1 billion in 2010 compared with $162.5 billion in 2009.

      In 2010, the U.S. dollar depreciated 3.0 percent on a trade-weighted yearly
average basis against a group of 7 major currencies. (Data are from Federal Reserve
Statistical Release H.10.)

                                     Revisions

      Statistics for the first three quarters of 2010 were revised to reflect revised
seasonal adjustments and, for the third quarter, new or revised source data. Revisions
to the first and second quarters were small.  In the third-quarter the current-account
deficit was revised down to $125.5 billion from $127.2 billion. The goods deficit was
revised down to $170.8 billion from $171.2 billion; the services surplus was revised
up to $38.2 billion from $36.8 billion; the income surplus was revised up to $41.4
billion from $41.1 billion; and unilateral current transfers were revised to net
outflows of $34.2 billion from $33.9 billion.  Net financial inflows were revised to
$137.0 billion from $181.6 billion.

                               *          *          *

      Release dates in 2011:

      Fourth quarter and year 2010...................March 16, 2011 (Wednesday)
      First quarter 2011...............................June 16, 2011 (Thursday)
      Second quarter 2011.........................September 15, 2011 (Thursday)
      Third quarter 2011...........................December 15, 2011 (Thursday)

                               *          *          *

      Summary BEA statistics are available on recorded messages at the time of
public release at the following telephone numbers:

                  (202) 606-5306 Gross domestic product
                           -5303 Personal income and outlays

      BEA’s national, international, regional, and industry statistics; the Survey
of Current Business; and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA’s
Web site at www.bea.gov.  By visiting the site, you can
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_________________
NOTE: This news release is available on BEA’s Web site along with Highlights
related to this release.  The latest detailed statistics for U.S. international
transactions are also available on BEA’s Web site.  The fourth
quarter and year 2010 statistics in this release are preliminary and will be revised
on June 16, 2011; at that time, the latest available statistics may differ from
those in this release.  All links in the text of this release refer to the latest
available statistics.