Survey of Current Business
April 2018
Volume 98, Number 4

U.S. Net International Investment Position

Fourth Quarter and Year 2017

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The U.S. net international investment position—the value of U.S. assets less the value of U.S. liabilities—decreased to −$7,845.8 billion (preliminary) at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 from −$7,739.7 billion (revised) at the end of the third quarter (chart 1). The $106.1 billion decrease reflected a $727.2 billion increase in U.S. assets and an $833.3 billion increase in U.S. liabilities (table A). The negative net investment position represents a U.S. net liability to the rest of the world.

  • The $106.1 billion decrease in the net investment position reflected net financial transactions of –$52.4 billion and net other changes in position, such as price and exchange-rate changes, of –$53.8 billion.
  • The net investment position decreased 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 3.3 percent in the third quarter. The net investment position decreased an average of 5.0 percent each quarter from the first quarter of 2011 through the second quarter of 2017.
Table A. Quarterly Change in the U.S. Net International Investment Position
[Billions of dollars, not seasonally adjusted]
Type of investment Position,
2017:III
Change in position in 2017:IV Position,
2017:IV
Total Attributable to:
Financial
transactions
Other changes
in position 1
U.S. net international investment position −7,739.7 −106.1 −52.4 −53.8 −7,845.8
Net position excluding financial derivatives −7,773.5 −100.6 −53.2 −47.5 −7,874.1
Financial derivatives other than reserves, net 33.8 −5.5 0.8 −6.3 28.3
U.S. assets 26,905.6 727.2 (2) (2) 27,632.8
Assets excluding financial derivatives 25,200.5 809.8 151.0 658.8 26,010.4
Financial derivatives other than reserves 1,705.1 −82.6 (2) (2) 1,622.5
U.S. liabilities 34,645.3 833.3 (2) (2) 35,478.6
Liabilities excluding financial derivatives 32,974.0 910.5 204.2 706.3 33,884.4
Financial derivatives other than reserves 1,671.3 −77.1 (2) (2) 1,594.2

Note. The statistics on positions are presented in table 1.2 of the international investment position (IIP) accounts on BEA’s Web site. The statistics on financial transactions are not seasonally adjusted and are presented in table 1.2 of the international transactions accounts (ITA) on BEA’s Web site.


 

U.S. assets increased $727.2 billion to $27,632.8 billion at the end of the fourth quarter, mostly reflecting increases in portfolio investment and direct investment assets (table B, chart 2).

  • Assets excluding financial derivatives increased $809.8 billion to $26,010.4 billion. The increase resulted from other changes in position of $658.8 billion and financial transactions of $151.0 billion. Other changes in position mostly reflected (1) foreign equity price increases that raised the value of portfolio investment and direct investment equity assets and (2) the appreciation of major foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar that raised the value of foreign-currency-denominated assets in dollar terms. Financial transactions mostly reflected net acquisition of portfolio investment debt securities and direct investment equity assets.
  • Financial derivatives decreased $82.6 billion to $1,622.5 billion, mostly in single-currency interest rate contracts and foreign exchange contracts.
Table B. Quarterly Change in U.S. Assets
[Billions of dollars, not seasonally adjusted]
Type of investment Position,
2017:III
Change in position in 2017:IV Position,
2017:IV
Total Attributable to:
Financial
transactions
Other changes
in position 1
U.S. assets 26,905.6 727.2 (2) (2) 27,632.8
Assets excluding financial derivatives 25,200.5 809.8 151.0 658.8 26,010.4
Financial derivatives other than reserves 1,705.1 −82.6 (2) (2) 1,622.5
By functional category:          
Direct investment at market value 8,595.4 268.0 79.9 188.1 8,863.4
Equity 7,346.7 276.5 88.1 188.3 7,623.2
Debt instruments 1,248.7 −8.5 −8.2 −0.3 1,240.2
Portfolio investment 11,905.5 537.7 83.3 454.3 12,443.2
Equity and investment fund shares 8,622.1 405.0 −33.9 438.9 9,027.0
Debt securities 3,283.4 132.7 117.2 15.5 3,416.1
Financial derivatives other than reserves 1,705.1 −82.6 (2) (2) 1,622.5
Over-the-counter contracts 1,663.1 −81.1 (2) (2) 1,582.0
Single-currency interest rate contracts 1,201.8 −51.3 (2) (2) 1,150.5
Foreign exchange contracts 281.1 −19.7 (2) (2) 261.3
Other contracts 180.2 −10.1 (2) (2) 170.1
Exchange-traded contracts 42.1 −1.5 (2) (2) 40.5
Other investment 4,243.0 11.1 −10.7 21.7 4,254.1
Currency and deposits 1,685.9 68.3 47.8 20.4 1,754.1
Loans 2,505.5 −57.1 −58.3 1.2 2,448.4
Insurance technical reserves n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Trade credit and advances 51.7 −0.1 −0.2 0.1 51.6
Reserve assets 456.6 −6.8 −1.5 −5.3 449.7
Monetary gold 343.9 −6.3 0.0 −6.3 337.6
Special drawing rights 51.4 0.4 (*) 0.4 51.9
Reserve position in the International Monetary Fund 19.0 −1.4 −1.5 0.1 17.6
Other reserve assets 42.2 0.4 (*) 0.4 42.6
n.a.
Not available
(*)
Nonzero value that rounds to zero

Note. The statistics on positions are presented in IIP table 1.2 on BEA’s Web site and the statistics on financial transactions are not seasonally adjusted and are presented in ITA table 1.2.

U.S. liabilities increased $833.3 billion to $35,478.6 billion at the end of the fourth quarter, mostly reflecting increases in portfolio investment and direct investment liabilities (table C, chart 3).

  • Liabilities excluding financial derivatives increased $910.5 billion to $33,884.4 billion. The increase resulted from other changes in position of $706.3 billion and financial transactions of $204.2 billion. Other changes in position mostly reflected U.S. equity price increases that raised the value of portfolio investment and direct investment equity liabilities. Financial transactions reflected net incurrence of liabilities in all major investment categories.
  • Financial derivatives decreased $77.1 billion to $1,594.2 billion, mostly in single-currency interest rate contracts and foreign exchange contracts.
Table C. Quarterly Change in U.S. Liabilities
[Billions of dollars, not seasonally adjusted]
Type of investment Position,
2017:III
Change in position in 2017:IV Position,
2017:IV
Total Attributable to:
Financial
transactions
Other changes
in position 1
U.S. liabilities 34,645.3 833.3 (2) (2) 35,478.6
Liabilities excluding financial derivatives 32,974.0 910.5 204.2 706.3 33,884.4
Financial derivatives other than reserves 1,671.3 −77.1 (2) (2) 1,594.2
By functional category:          
Direct investment at market value 8,454.1 417.3 49.8 367.5 8,871.4
Equity 6,629.8 425.7 58.0 367.6 7,055.5
Debt instruments 1,824.2 −8.4 −8.2 −0.1 1,815.9
Portfolio investment 19,057.9 446.2 84.9 361.4 19,504.2
Equity and investment fund shares 7,559.4 399.2 −5.7 404.9 7,958.6
Debt securities 11,498.5 47.0 90.6 −43.5 11,545.6
Financial derivatives other than reserves 1,671.3 −77.1 (2) (2) 1,594.2
Over-the-counter contracts 1,630.0 −75.7 (2) (2) 1,554.4
Single-currency interest rate contracts 1,166.6 −54.0 (2) (2) 1,112.6
Foreign exchange contracts 281.7 −15.0 (2) (2) 266.8
Other contracts 181.8 −6.7 (2) (2) 175.1
Exchange-traded contracts 41.3 −1.4 (2) (2) 39.9
Other investment 5,461.9 46.9 69.5 −22.6 5,508.9
Currency and deposits 3,120.2 77.3 77.1 0.3 3,197.5
Loans 2,100.5 −33.1 −9.8 −23.2 2,067.4
Insurance technical reserves n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Trade credit and advances 191.4 2.3 2.3 (*) 193.7
Special drawing rights allocations 49.9 0.4 0.0 0.4 50.3
n.a.
Not available
(*)
Nonzero value that rounds to zero

Note. The statistics on positions are presented in IIP table 1.2 on BEA’s Web site and the statistics on financial transactions are not seasonally adjusted and are presented in ITA table 1.2.

The U.S. international investment position statistics for the third quarter of 2017 have been updated to incorporate newly available and revised source data (table D).

Table D. Updates to Third-Quarter 2017 International Investment Position Aggregates
[Billions of dollars, not seasonally adjusted]
  Preliminary estimate Revised estimate
U.S. net international investment position −7,768.7 −7,739.7
U.S. assets 26,854.9 26,905.6
Direct investment at market value 8,580.6 8,595.4
Portfolio investment 11,860.1 11,905.5
Financial derivatives other than reserves 1,705.1 1,705.1
Other investment 4,252.5 4,243.0
Reserve assets 456.6 456.6
U.S. liabilities 34,623.6 34,645.3
Direct investment at market value 8,452.8 8,454.1
Portfolio investment 19,043.2 19,057.9
Financial derivatives other than reserves 1,671.3 1,671.3
Other investment 5,456.2 5,461.9

 

The U.S. net international investment position increased to −$7,845.8 billion (preliminary) at the end of 2017 from −$8,318.4 billion at the end of 2016 (table E). The $472.6 billion increase reflected a $3,783.4 billion increase in U.S. assets and a $3,310.8 billion increase in U.S. liabilities.

U.S. assets increased $3,783.4 billion to $27,632.8 billion at the end of 2017, mostly reflecting increases in portfolio investment and direct investment assets that were partly offset by a decrease in financial derivatives (table E).

  • Assets excluding financial derivatives increased $4,369.9 billion to $26,010.4 billion. The increase resulted from other changes in position of $3,157.5 billion and financial transactions of $1,212.4 billion. Other changes in position mostly reflected (1) foreign equity price increases that raised the value of portfolio investment and direct investment equity assets and (2) the appreciation of major foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar that raised the value of foreign-currency-denominated assets in dollar terms. Financial transactions reflected net acquisition of assets in all major investment categories except reserve assets.
  • Financial derivatives decreased $586.5 billion to $1,622.5 billion, mostly in single-currency interest rate contracts and foreign exchange contracts.
Table E. Annual Change in the U.S. Net International Investment Position and in U.S. Assets
[Billions of dollars]
Type of investment Yearend
position, 2016
Change in position in 2017 Yearend
position, 2017
Total Attributable to:
Financial
transactions
Other changes
in position 1
U.S. net international investment position −8,318.4 472.6 −349.2 821.8 −7,845.8
Net position excluding financial derivatives −8,379.7 505.6 −375.6 881.2 −7,874.1
Financial derivatives other than reserves, net 61.3 −33.0 26.4 −59.4 28.3
U.S. assets 23,849.4 3,783.4 (2) (2) 27,632.8
Assets excluding financial derivatives 21,640.5 4,369.9 1,212.4 3,157.5 26,010.4
Financial derivatives other than reserves 2,209.0 −586.5 (2) (2) 1,622.5
By functional category:          
Direct investment at market value 7,375.0 1,488.3 424.4 1,063.9 8,863.4
Equity 6,172.3 1,450.8 374.9 1,075.9 7,623.2
Debt instruments 1,202.7 37.5 49.5 −12.0 1,240.2
Portfolio investment 9,879.2 2,563.9 589.5 1,974.4 12,443.2
Equity and investment fund shares 6,997.0 2,030.0 193.8 1,836.2 9,027.0
Debt securities 2,882.2 533.9 395.7 138.1 3,416.1
Financial derivatives other than reserves 2,209.0 −586.5 (2) (2) 1,622.5
Over-the-counter contracts 2,166.9 −585.0 (2) (2) 1,582.0
Single-currency interest rate contracts 1,622.2 −471.7 (2) (2) 1,150.5
Foreign exchange contracts 386.7 −125.3 (2) (2) 261.3
Other contracts 158.0 12.1 (2) (2) 170.1
Exchange-traded contracts 42.1 −1.5 (2) (2) 40.5
Other investment 3,978.9 275.2 200.1 75.0 4,254.1
Currency and deposits 1,559.8 194.3 148.7 45.6 1,754.1
Loans 2,373.7 74.7 46.9 27.8 2,448.4
Insurance technical reserves n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Trade credit and advances 45.4 6.2 4.4 1.7 51.6
Reserve assets 407.2 42.5 −1.7 44.2 449.7
Monetary gold 301.1 36.5 0.0 36.5 337.6
Special drawing rights 48.9 3.0 0.1 2.9 51.9
Reserve position in the International Monetary Fund 18.4 −0.8 −1.8 1.1 17.6
Other reserve assets 38.9 3.7 (*) 3.7 42.6
n.a.
Not available
(*)
Nonzero value that rounds to zero

Note. The statistics on positions are presented in IIP table 1.2 on BEA’s Web site and the statistics on financial transactions are presented in ITA table 1.2.

U.S. liabilities increased $3,310.8 billion to $35,478.6 billion at the end of 2017, mostly reflecting increases in portfolio investment and direct investment liabilities that were partly offset by a decrease in financial derivatives (table F).

  • Liabilities excluding financial derivatives increased $3,864.3 billion to $33,884.4 billion. The increase resulted from other changes in position of $2,276.4 billion and financial transactions of $1,587.9 billion. Other changes in position mostly reflected U.S. equity price increases that raised the value of portfolio investment and direct investment equity liabilities. Financial transactions reflected net incurrence of liabilities in all major investment categories.
  • Financial derivatives decreased $553.5 billion to $1,594.2 billion, mostly in single-currency interest rate contracts and foreign exchange contracts.
Table F. Annual Change in U.S. Liabilities
[Billions of dollars]
Type of investment Yearend
position, 2016
Change in position in 2017 Yearend
position, 2017
Total Attributable to:
Financial
transactions
Other changes
in position 1
U.S. liabilities 32,167.8 3,310.8 (2) (2) 35,478.6
Liabilities excluding financial derivatives 30,020.1 3,864.3 1,587.9 2,276.4 33,884.4
Financial derivatives other than reserves 2,147.7 −553.5 (2) (2) 1,594.2
By functional category:          
Direct investment at market value 7,569.3 1,302.1 348.7 953.5 8,871.4
Equity 5,783.5 1,272.0 293.7 978.3 7,055.5
Debt instruments 1,785.8 30.1 55.0 −24.9 1,815.9
Portfolio investment 17,352.3 2,151.9 837.1 1,314.8 19,504.2
Equity and investment fund shares 6,564.0 1,394.7 166.8 1,227.8 7,958.6
Debt securities 10,788.4 757.2 670.2 87.0 11,545.6
Financial derivatives other than reserves 2,147.7 −553.5 (2) (2) 1,594.2
Over-the-counter contracts 2,104.6 −550.2 (2) (2) 1,554.4
Single-currency interest rate contracts 1,568.1 −455.6 (2) (2) 1,112.6
Foreign exchange contracts 366.8 −100.1 (2) (2) 266.8
Other contracts 169.6 5.4 (2) (2) 175.1
Exchange-traded contracts 43.1 −3.3 (2) (2) 39.9
Other investment 5,098.6 410.3 402.2 8.1 5,508.9
Currency and deposits 2,949.8 247.7 236.5 11.2 3,197.5
Loans 1,925.8 141.6 147.6 −6.0 2,067.4
Insurance technical reserves n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Trade credit and advances 175.5 18.2 18.1 0.1 193.7
Special drawing rights allocations 47.5 2.8 0.0 2.8 50.3
n.a.
Not available

Note. The statistics on positions are presented in IIP table 1.2 on BEA’s Web site and the statistics on financial transactions are presented in ITA table 1.2.