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Bureau of Economic Analysis

Survey of Current Business

Table of Contents
 July 1997

Selected articles may be accessed by clicking on the links below. (An Acrobat (PDF) version of the table of contents is also available; however, links to other files will work only when you use Acrobat Reader 4.0.)

Special in this issue

7 The Measurement of Depreciation in the U.S. National Income and Product Accounts (PDF)

As part of the recent comprehensive revision of the NIPA’s, BEA introduced an improved methodology for calculating depreciation and capital stocks. This article by Barbara Fraumeni, a professor at Northeastern University and a consultant for BEA, reviews the empirical literature that supports BEA’s use of geometric patterns of depreciation in the revised estimates.

43 U.S. International Transactions, Revised Estimates for 1974–96  (PDF)

This year’s annual revision of the balance of payments accounts incorporates significant improvements in the investment income, capital, and services accounts. In the investment income accounts, the estimates of income receipts incorporate the results of the first benchmark survey of the stock of U.S. portfolio investment abroad in over 50 years. In the capital accounts, estimates of the international flows of U.S. currency appear for the first time. In the services accounts, preliminary results from the first annual surveys of financial services are incorporated. On the revised basis, the U.S. current-account deficit is $148.2 billion in 1996, compared with $165.1 billion on the previously published basis; the revision is more than accounted for by an upward revision to exports of goods, services, and income.

Regular features

1 Business Situation (PDF)

Real GDP increased 5.9 percent in the first quarter of 1997. Real GNP increased 5.0 percent, and real GNP on a command basis increased 5.6 percent. Corporate profits jumped $42.4 billion, as profits of both financial and non-financial domestic corporations rebounded strongly from fourth-quarter decreases.

24 The International Investment Position of the United States in 1996 (PDF)

The net international investment position of the United States became more negative in 1996: On a current-cost basis, it increased $182.8 billion, to -$870.5 billion; and on a market-value basis, it increased $193.8 billion, to -$831.3 billion. The change in the position in 1996 was attributable to large net capital inflows to the United States. However, for the direct investment component of the position, U.S. assets abroad continued to exceed foreign assets in the United States.

34 Direct Investment Positions for 1996: Country and Industry Detail (PDF)

In 1996, the U.S. direct investment position abroad valued at historical cost increased 11 percent, reflecting large capital outflows that were mainly in the form of reinvested earnings. Nearly half of the increase in the position was accounted for by Europe, mostly by the United Kingdom. The foreign direct investment position in the United States valued at historical cost increased 12 percent, reflecting large capital inflows that were mainly in the form of equity capital—both from capital contributions to existing U.S. affiliates and from acquisitions of U.S. business by foreigners. Most of the increase in the position was accounted for by Europe.

56 U.S. International Transactions, First Quarter 1997 (PDF)

The U.S. current-account deficit increased $4.1 billion, to $41.0 billion, in the first quarter of 1997. A shift to a deficit on investment income and an increase in the deficit on goods and services were partly oVset by a decrease in net unilateral transfers. In the capital account, net recorded inflows were $59.1 billion in the first quarter, $19.0 billion higher than in the fourth.

Reports and statistical presentations

5 Real Inventories, Sales, and Inventory Sales Ratios for Manufacturing and Trade (PDF)

D–1 BEA Current and Historical Data

National Data:

D--2 Selected NIPA Tables (PDF)
D--27 Other NIPA and NIPA-Related Tables (PDF)
D--36 Historical Tables (PDF)
D--47 Domestic Perspectives (PDF)
D--49 Charts (PDF)

International Data:

D–57 Summary U.S. international transactions (PDF)

D–58 Investment tables (PDF)

D–63 International perspectives (PDF)

Regional Data:

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 (PDF)
D--75 Appendix B: Suggested reading (PDF)

Inside back cover: BEA Information (PDF)

(A listing of recent BEA publications available from the Government Printing Office)

Back Cover:  Schedule of Upcoming BEA News Releases (PDF)




Annual Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts. An article presenting revised NIPA estimates and discussing major sources of the revisions will appear in the August SURVEY. Selected data will be made available on July 31 as part of the release of the advanced GDP estimates for the second quarter of 1997. For more information on the annual NIPA revision, see the box on page 4.

Comprehensive Revision of Local Area Personal Income. An article presenting the results of a comprehensive revision of the estimates of county and metropolitan area personal income for 1969–95 will appear in the September SURVEY. The revision will incorporate the recent comprehensive revisions of the NIPA’s and of State personal income, as well as several improvements in the methodology for the estimates of county personal income.