U.S. Net International Investment Position at Yearend 2010
The U.S. net international investment position at yearend 2010 was
-$2,471.0 billion (preliminary), as the value of foreign investments in the
United States continued to exceed the value of U.S. investments abroad (table
1). At yearend 2009, the U.S. net international investment position was
-$2,396.4 billion (revised).
The -$74.6 billion change in the U.S. net investment position from
yearend 2009 to yearend 2010 primarily reflected net foreign acquisitions of
financial assets in the United States that exceeded net U.S. acquisitions of
financial assets abroad. The impact of these financial flows was partly offset
by the net change in valuation adjustments, which include price changes,
exchange-rate changes, and other changes such as more complete source data.
The following are highlights for 2010:
* Foreign acquisitions of financial assets in the United States, excluding
financial derivatives, were $1,245.7 billion in 2010, up substantially
from $335.8 billion in 2009. In 2010, foreign residents including
foreign official institutions purchased more U.S. securities than they
sold, especially Treasury securities. Foreign direct investment in the
United States and U.S. banks’ and nonbanks’ liabilities to foreign
residents also increased.
* U.S. acquisitions of financial assets abroad, excluding financial
derivatives, were $1,005.2 billion in 2010, up substantially from $139.3
billion in 2009. In 2010, both U.S. banks’ claims against foreign
residents and U.S. direct investment abroad increased, and U.S. residents
bought more foreign securities than they sold. These financial outflows
were partly offset by small decreases in U.S. government assets and in
U.S. nonbanks’ claims against foreign residents.
* U.S. holdings of financial derivatives as assets (with positive gross
fair value) increased $152.1 billion, and as liabilities (with negative
gross fair value) increased $176.5 billion. These changes were mainly
due to increases in U.S. claims and liabilities from single-currency
interest rate and foreign exchange contracts that more than offset
decreases from other contracts, mostly credit-default swaps. Because
changes to U.S. assets and liabilities were mostly offsetting, they had
little impact on the U.S. net investment position.
* Price changes led to an $81.5 billion change in the U.S. net international
investment position. In 2010, worldwide prices of financial assets such
as stocks, bonds, and government securities including U.S. Treasury
securities increased, raising the value of both U.S. holdings of foreign
securities and foreign holdings of U.S. securities by comparable amounts.
These changes in financial asset prices were largely offsetting and the
net price change for the net U.S. investment position was mostly
attributable to changes in the value of the U.S. gold stock as market
prices of gold reached historical highs.
* Exchange-rate changes led to a -$39.6 billion change in the U.S. net
international investment position. Depreciation of some major foreign
currencies against the U.S. dollar from yearend 2009 to yearend 2010
lowered the dollar value of U.S.-owned assets abroad slightly more than
the dollar value of foreign-currency-denominated U.S. liabilities.
* Other changes led to a $137.9 billion change in the U.S. net international
investment position. In 2010, other valuation changes included more
complete reporting of the Treasury International Capital position data by
banks and nonbanks, capital gains and losses from the sale of direct
investment assets, and adjustments to source data.
U.S.-owned assets abroad increased $1,828.3 billion to $20,315.4 billion.
U.S. holdings of financial derivatives as assets (with positive gross
fair value) increased $152.1 billion to $3,652.9 billion.
U.S. official reserve assets increased $84.9 billion to $488.7 billion,
mostly as a result of price appreciation of the U.S. gold stock. In contrast,
U.S. government assets other than official reserve assets decreased $7.5
billion to $75.2 billion, as a result of decreases in U.S. foreign currency
The stock of U.S. direct investment abroad at current cost increased
$361.9 billion to $4,429.4 billion, mostly as a result of very strong
reinvested earnings (see the box on page 3).
U.S. holdings of foreign securities increased $657.2 billion to $6,222.9
billion, mainly due to increases in the prices of foreign stocks held by U.S.
Claims on foreigners reported by U.S. banks increased $568.0 billion to
Claims on foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanks increased $11.8 billion to
Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $1,902.9 billion to
U.S. holdings of financial derivatives as liabilities (with negative
gross fair value) increased $176.5 billion to $3,542.5 billion.
Foreign official assets in the United States increased $460.9 billion to
$4,863.6 billion, mostly as a result of relatively strong net foreign official
purchases of U.S. Treasury securities.
Foreign private holdings of U.S. securities other than U.S. Treasury
securities increased $540.2 billion to $5,860.1 billion, mainly due to
increases in the prices of U.S. stocks held by foreign residents.
Foreign private holdings of U.S. Treasury securities increased $272.8
billion to $1,064.6 billion, mostly as a result of very strong net purchases.
The stock of foreign direct investment in the United States at current
cost increased $217.2 billion to $2,658.9 billion, as a result of relatively
strong financial inflows (see the box below).
Liabilities to private foreign residents reported by U.S. banks increased
$166.6 billion to $3,706.7 billion.
Liabilities to private foreign residents reported by U.S. nonbanks
increased $40.4 billion to $747.8 billion.
The stock of U.S. currency abroad increased $28.3 billion to $342.1
Valuation Methods for Direct Investment
Direct investment at current cost is BEA’s featured measure of direct
investment in current-period prices. The current-cost method values the U.S.
and foreign parents’ share of their affiliates’ investment in plant and
equipment using the current cost of capital equipment, in land using general
price indexes, and in inventories using estimates of their replacement cost.
Direct investment at market value is an alternative measure of direct
investment in current-period prices. The market-value method values the
owners’ equity component of the direct investment position using indexes of
stock market prices.
The historical-cost method values assets and liabilities at their book
value. Country and industry detail can be shown only under this method.
Statistics on this basis are not presented in this release.
* * *
The previously published U.S. net international investment position at
yearend 2009 was -$2,737.8 billion. The revised position statistics reflect
the incorporation of results from BEA’s benchmark survey of foreign direct
investment in the United States for 2007 and the U.S. Treasury Department’s
annual surveys of U.S. Ownership of Foreign Securities for December 2009 and
Foreign-Residents’ Holdings of U.S. Securities for June 2010.
In addition, the revisions reflect new and updated source data from the
quarterly and annual surveys of direct investment, the Treasury International
Capital reporting system, and other sources. Revisions to the U.S. net
international investment position from all sources were $119.7 billion for 2007,
$233.7 billion for 2008, and $341.4 billion for 2009.
A more detailed discussion of the U.S. net international investment
position at yearend 2010 and revised historical data will appear in the July
issue of the Survey of Current Business. That issue will also contain an
article about historical-cost direct investment positions, with detail by
country and industry, and revised direct investment historical data.
* * *
BEA’s national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the
Survey of Current Business; and BEA news releases are available without charge
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