News Release: U.S. International TransactionsNOTE: See the navigation bar at the right side of the news release text for links to data tables, contact personnel and their telephone numbers, and supplementary materials.
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, Thursday, December 15, 2016
|Christopher P. Steiner:||(301) 278-9492||(Technical)||Christopher.Steiner@bea.gov|
|Jeannine Aversa:||(301) 278-9003||(Media)||Jeannine.Aversa@bea.gov|
U.S. International Transactions: Third Quarter 2016
Current Account Balance The U.S. current account deficit decreased to $113.0 billion (preliminary) in the third quarter of 2016 from $118.3 billion (revised) in the second quarter of 2016, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit decreased to 2.4 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.6 percent in the second quarter. The $5.3 billion decrease in the current account deficit reflected a $9.0 billion decrease in the deficit on goods that was partly offset by changes in the balances on secondary income, primary income, and services. Current Account Transactions (tables 1-5) Exports of goods and services and income receipts Exports of goods and services and income receipts increased $17.7 billion in the third quarter to $799.0 billion. * Goods exports increased $15.7 billion to $375.9 billion, mostly reflecting increases in foods, feeds, and beverages, largely soybeans. Exports of industrial supplies and materials, nonmonetary gold, and consumer goods except food and automotive (particularly in jewelry and collectibles) also increased. * Services exports increased $2.0 billion to $188.2 billion, mostly reflecting an increase in travel (for all purposes including education) that was partly offset by a decrease in transport. Imports of goods and services and income payments Imports of goods and services and income payments increased $12.4 billion to $912.0 billion. * Goods imports increased $6.7 billion to $553.6 billion, mostly reflecting an increase in imports of industrial supplies and materials, primarily petroleum and products, nonferrous metals, and iron and steel products. * Services imports increased $2.7 billion to $126.9 billion, mostly reflecting increases in charges for the use of intellectual property and travel (for all purposes including education). * Secondary income payments increased $2.0 billion to $72.0 billion, mostly reflecting an increase in U.S. government transfers, primarily U.S. government grants. * Primary income payments increased $1.0 billion to $159.4 billion, mostly reflecting an increase in portfolio investment income payments that was partly offset by a decrease in direct investment income payments. Financial Account (tables 1, 6, 7, and 8) Net U.S. borrowing measured by financial-account transactions was $207.9 billion in the third quarter, an increase from net borrowing of $41.0 billion in the second quarter. A decrease in net U.S. acquisition of financial assets excluding financial derivatives was partly offset by a decrease in net U.S. incurrence of liabilities excluding financial derivatives and an increase in net lending in financial derivatives other than reserves. Financial assets Net U.S. acquisition of financial assets excluding financial derivatives decreased $292.0 billion in the third quarter to $31.5 billion. * Transactions in portfolio investment assets shifted to net U.S. sales of $35.1 billion from net U.S. acquisition of $146.4 billion, mostly reflecting a shift to net sales of equity and investment fund shares from net acquisition in the second quarter. * Transactions in other investment assets shifted to net U.S. liquidation of $22.6 billion from net U.S. acquisition of $70.6 billion, largely reflecting increased net withdrawal of U.S. residents’ foreign holdings of currency and deposits. * Net U.S. acquisition of direct investment assets decreased $18.8 billion to $87.5 billion, reflecting decreases in net acquisitions of equity and debt instruments. Liabilities Net U.S. incurrence of liabilities excluding financial derivatives decreased $115.9 billion to $251.5 billion. * Transactions in other investment liabilities shifted to net U.S. repayment of $64.5 billion from net U.S. incurrence of $181.4 billion, largely reflecting a shift in currency and deposits and loans to net U.S. repayment from net incurrence in the second quarter. * Net U.S. incurrence of direct investment liabilities decreased $87.1 billion to $86.9 billion, reflecting decreases in net U.S. incurrence of both equity and debt instrument liabilities. * Net U.S. incurrence of portfolio investment liabilities increased $217.2 billion to $229.1 billion, partly offsetting the decreases in the other two major categories. The increase largely reflected a shift to net foreign purchases of U.S. equity and investment fund shares from net foreign sales in the second quarter. Financial derivatives Transactions in financial derivatives other than reserves reflected third-quarter net lending of $12.1 billion, a $9.2 billion increase from the second quarter. Statistical Discrepancy (table 1) The statistical discrepancy shifted to -$95.0 billion in the third quarter from $77.3 billion in the second quarter. Updates to International Transactions Accounts Statistics Updates to Second-Quarter 2016 International Transactions Accounts Aggregates Billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted Preliminary estimate Revised estimate Current-account balance -119.9 -118.3 Goods balance -186.7 -186.7 Services balance 61.5 62.0 Primary-income balance 42.9 44.2 Secondary-income balance -37.6 -37.7 Net lending from financial-account transactions -31.1 -41.0 Statistical discrepancy 88.8 77.3 Next release: March 21, 2017 at 8:30 A.M. EDT U.S. International Transactions, Fourth Quarter and Year 2016 * * * U.S. International Transactions Release Dates in 2017 Fourth Quarter and Year 2016 March 21 First Quarter 2017 and Annual Update June 20 Second Quarter 2017 September 19 Third Quarter 2017 December 19 Additional Information Resources * Stay informed about BEA developments by reading the BEA blog, signing up for BEA’s email subscription service, or following BEA on Twitter @BEA_News. * Historical time series for these estimates can be accessed in BEA’s Interactive Data Application. * Access BEA data by registering for BEA’s Data Application Programming Interface (API). * For more on BEA’s statistics, see our monthly online journal, the Survey of Current Business. * BEA's news release schedule. * More information on these International Transactions statistics will be provided next month in the Survey of Current Business. * More information on the International Transactions Accounts and a description of the estimation methods used to compile them is provided in U.S. International Economic Accounts: Concepts and Methods. Definitions The current account consists of transactions between U.S. residents and nonresidents in goods, services, primary income, and secondary income. Goods are physical items with ownership rights that can be exchanged among institutional units through transactions. Services transactions consist of transactions arising from productive activities that change the condition of the consumer or that facilitate the exchange of products and financial assets. Primary income transactions include investment income and compensation of employees. Investment income is the return on holdings of financial assets and includes direct investment income, portfolio investment income, other investment income, and income on reserve assets. Compensation of employees is income for the contribution of labor inputs to the production process. Secondary income consists of current transfers between residents and nonresidents. Unlike an exchange, a transfer is a transaction in which a good, service, or asset is provided without a corresponding return of economic value. Secondary income receipts and payments include U.S. government and private transfers, such as U.S. government grants and pensions, fines and penalties, withholding taxes, personal transfers (remittances), insurance-related transfers, and other current transfers. The capital account consists of capital transfers between residents and nonresidents and the cross-border acquisition and disposal of nonproduced non-financial assets. Capital transfers include debt forgiveness and certain disaster-related nonlife insurance claims. Nonproduced nonfinancial assets include natural resources and contracts, leases, and licenses. Capital account transactions are distinguished from current account transactions in that capital account transactions result in a change in the assets of one or both parties to the transaction without affecting the income or savings of either party. The financial account consists of transactions between U.S. residents and nonresidents for direct investment, portfolio investment, other investment, reserves, and financial derivatives other than reserves. 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 transactions include transactions in equity (including reinvestment of earnings) and debt instruments. Portfolio investment transactions consist of cross-border transactions involving equity and investment fund shares and debt securities, excluding those included in direct investment or reserve assets. Other investment is a residual category that includes cross-border financial instruments other than those included in direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives, and reserve assets. Other investment transactions consist of transactions 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 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. Financial derivatives other than reserves consist of financial contracts that are linked to underlying financial instruments, commodities, or indicators. Transactions in financial derivatives consist of U.S. cash receipts and payments arising from the sale, purchase, periodic settlement, or final settlement of financial derivatives contracts. Transactions in financial derivatives are only available as a net value equal to transactions for assets less transactions for liabilities. A positive value represents net cash payments by U.S. residents to foreign residents from settlements of derivatives contracts (net lending) and a negative value represents net U.S. cash receipts (net borrowing). The statistical discrepancy is the difference between net acquisition of assets and net incurrence of liabilities in the financial account (including financial derivatives) less the difference between total credits and total debits recorded in the current and capital accounts. The statistical discrepancy can also be calculated as the difference between net lending (borrowing) measured from financial-account transactions and net lending (borrowing) measured from current- and capital- account transactions. The current-account balance is the difference between credits (exports and income receipts) and debits (imports and income payments) in the current account. The balance is a net measure of current-account transactions between the United States and the rest of the world. A positive balance indicates a current-account surplus. A negative balance indicates a current-account deficit. Net lending (borrowing) measures the balance of funds supplied to the rest of the world. Net lending means that, in net terms, the U.S. economy supplies funds to the rest of the world. Net borrowing means the opposite. Net lending (borrowing) can be measured by current- and capital- account transactions or by financial-account transactions. Conceptually, the two measures are equal. In practice, the two measures differ by the statistical discrepancy. Release and revision cycle Preliminary quarterly International Transactions Accounts (ITA) statistics are released in March, June, September, and December approximately 80 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 along with statistics for the fourth quarter of the previous year. These annual statistics are open for revision for at least the three prior years in subsequent annual revisions. Related statistics The ITAs 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 Investment Position (IIP) Accounts are released quarterly. Financial transactions that are reported in the ITAs are one type of change 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 that include detailed annual information on trade in services and on services supplied through the channel of direct investment by affiliates of MNEs are released annually. 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. International Transactions Table 2. U.S. International Trade in Goods Table 3. U.S. International Trade in Services Table 4. U.S. International Transactions in Primary Income Table 5. U.S. International Transactions in Secondary Income Table 6. U.S. International Financial Transactions for Direct Investment Table 7. U.S. International Financial Transactions for Portfolio Investment Table 8. U.S. International Financial Transactions for Other Investment