Bureau of Economic Analysis
Survey of Current Business
Table of Contents
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In this year's annual revision of the balance of payments accounts, the structure of the accounts is modified in order to improve the presentation of the different types of international transactions and to bring the accounts into closer alignment with international guidelines. As a result, U.S. international transactions are now classified into three groups---the current account, the capital account, and the financial account. Several major improvements to the estimates are also introduced, including improved measures of income receipts and improved seasonal adjustment of exports of goods. The revised estimate of the U.S. current-account deficit for 1998 is $-$$220.6 billion, compared with the previously published estimate of $-$$233.4 billion.
Real GDP increased 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 1999, according to the NIPA ``final'' estimate; the ``preliminary'' estimate issued last month had shown a 4.1-percent increase. Corporate profits increased $47.1 billion (or 5.7 percent at a quarterly rate) in the first quarter after decreasing $5.3 billion (0.6 percent) in the fourth.
The operations of U.S. multinational companies (MNC's) continued to grow at a strong pace in 1997: Worldwide gross product of U.S. parent companies and their majority-owned foreign affiliates increased 5.6 percent, employment increased 6.1 percent, and capital expenditures increased 13.7 percent. The strong growth in MNC operations reflected continued economic growth and a strong upturn in new investments.
The net international investment position of the United States became more negative in 1998: On a current-cost basis, it was $-$$1,239.2 billion, compared with $-$$968.2 billion in 1997; and on a market-value basis, it was $-$$1,537.5 billion, compared with $-$$1,066.3 billion in 1997. The net position on both bases became more negative mainly as a result of large net financial inflows and strong price appreciation in foreign-owned assets in the United States that reflected a steep rise in U.S. stock prices.
In 1998, the U.S. direct investment position abroad valued at historical cost increased 13 percent, reflecting record capital outflows---mainly equity capital and reinvested earnings. By country, the largest increases were with the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The foreign direct investment position in the United States valued at historical cost increased 17 percent, reflecting record capital inflows that were boosted by two exceptionally large transactions involving acquisitions of U.S. firms. By country, the largest increases were with Germany and the United Kingdom.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased $6.9 billion, to $68.6 billion, in the first quarter of 1999, as a large increase in the deficit on goods more than offset a small increase in the surplus on services, a small decrease in the deficit on income, and a decrease in net unilateral current transfers. In the financial account, net recorded inflows slowed to $84.1 billion from $99.2 billion, as a sharp slowdown in inflows for foreign-owned assets in the United States more than offset a shift from outflows to inflows for transactions in U.S.-owned assets abroad.
D--2 Selected NIPA Tables (PDF)
D--27 Other NIPA and NIPA-Related Tables (PDF)
D--36 Historical Tables (PDF)
D--41 Domestic Perspectives (PDF)
D--43 Charts (PDF)
D--51 Transactions Tables (PDF)
D--57 Investment Tables (PDF)
D--62 International Perspectives (PDF)
D--65 State and Regional Tables (PDF)
D--69 Local Area Table (PDF)
D--71 Charts (PDF)
D--73 Appendix A: Additional Information About BEA's NIPA Estimates
D--75 Appendix B: Suggested Reading
Inside back cover: Getting BEA's Estimates (PDF)
Back cover: Schedule of Upcoming BEA News Releases (PDF)