News Release: U.S. International Transactions

NOTE: 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.


FOR WIRE TRANSMISSION: 8:30 A.M. EDT, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2012
BEA 12-08


Sarah P. Scott: (202) 606-9286 (Data)
U.S. International Transactions, 4th Quarter and Year 2011

Current Account

The U.S. current-account deficit—the combined balances on trade in goods and services,
income, and net unilateral current transfers—increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the
fourth quarter of 2011, from $107.6 billion (revised) in the third quarter. Most of the
increase in the current-account deficit was due to a decrease in the surplus on income and an
increase in the deficit on goods and services.

Goods and services

       The deficit on goods and services increased to $141.1 billion in the fourth quarter
from $134.7 billion in the third.


       Goods
       The deficit on goods increased to $186.3 billion in the fourth quarter from $180.9
billion in the third.

       Goods exports decreased to $380.4 billion from $382.7 billion. Four of the 6 major
end-use categories decreased. The decrease was more than accounted for by a decrease in
industrial supplies and materials. The decrease in industrial supplies and materials was more
than accounted for by a decrease in metals and nonmetallic products, mostly nonferrous metals.
Changes in the other major categories were relatively small (Table 2a).

       Goods imports increased to $566.7 billion from $563.5 billion. All but one of the 6
major end-use categories increased; only industrial supplies and materials fell. The largest
increase was in capital goods; this was mainly accounted for by civilian aircraft, engines, and
parts. Within industrial supplies and materials, the largest decreases were in natural gas and
nonferrous metals (Table 2a).

       Services
       The surplus on services decreased to $45.3 billion in the fourth quarter from $46.2
billion in the third.

       Services receipts decreased to $155.0 billion from $155.5 billion. Most of the major
services categories decreased; the largest decreases were in travel and in passenger fares.

       Services payments increased slightly to $109.7 billion from $109.4 billion. The
increase reflected increases in other private services and in royalties and licenses fees, and
occurred despite small decreases in all of the other services categories.

Income

       The surplus on income decreased to $50.3 billion in the fourth quarter from $60.6
billion in the third.

       Investment income
       Income receipts on U.S.-owned assets abroad decreased to $179.4 billion from $185.1
billion. The decrease was mostly accounted for by a decrease in direct investment receipts; a
decrease in other private receipts (which consists of interest and dividends) also contributed.

       Income payments on foreign-owned assets in the United States increased to $126.8 billion
from $122.3 billion. The increase was more than accounted for by an increase in direct
investment payments.

       Compensation of employees
       Receipts for compensation of U.S. workers abroad remained at $1.4 billion. Payments for
compensation of foreign workers in the United States remained at $3.6 billion.



Unilateral current transfers

       Net unilateral current transfers to foreigners were $33.3 billion in the fourth quarter,
down from $33.5 billion in the third. The decrease reflected a decrease in U.S. government
grants, which was partly offset by an increase in private remittances and other transfers.

                                       Capital Account

       Net capital account payments were near zero in the fourth quarter, compared with net
payments of $0.3 billion in the third quarter.

                                      Financial Account

        Net financial inflows were $48.6 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $153.7
billion in the third. Both foreign-owned assets in the United States and U.S.-owned assets
abroad increased less in the fourth quarter than in the third.  The slowdown in foreign-owned
assets in the United States was greater than that in U.S.-owned assets abroad.

U.S.-owned assets abroad


        U.S.-owned assets abroad increased $11.0 billion in the fourth quarter, following an
increase of $75.1 billion in the third.

        U.S. claims on foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers decreased $88.5
billion in the fourth quarter, after a decrease of $25.9 billion in the third. (Examples of
these claims are U.S. banks’ deposits at foreign banks and U.S. banks’ loans to foreigners.)
The change from the third quarter reflects a decrease in claims for own accounts; U.S.-owned
banks decreased offshore deposits and other claims abroad (Table 10a).

        U.S. sales of foreign securities exceeded purchases by $35.8 billion in the fourth
quarter, a shift from the third quarter when U.S. purchases exceeded sales by $40.1 billion.
Net sales of foreign stocks were $9.1 billion, shifting from net purchases of $22.8 billion.
Net sales of foreign bonds were $26.7 billion, shifting from net purchases of $17.3 billion.
(Table 8a).

        U.S. direct investment abroad was $103.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $74.1
billion in the third. The increase was more than accounted for by an increase in equity
investment and a shift to outflows of intercompany debt investment. A decrease in reinvested
earnings was partly offsetting (Table 7a).

        U.S. claims on unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns decreased
$69.3 billion in the fourth quarter, after a decrease of $18.2 billion in the third.

        U.S. official reserve assets increased $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter, following
an increase of $4.1 billion in the third. The increase reflected an increase in the U.S. reserve
position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due to an increase in U.S. loans to the IMF
under New Arrangements to Borrow.

        U.S. government assets other than official reserve assets increased $99.3 billion in
the fourth quarter, after an increase of $1.0 billion in the third. The increase reflected
dollar liquidity swaps between the U.S. Federal Reserve System and foreign central banks,
mostly with the European Central Bank.

Foreign-owned assets in the United States

        Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $59.6 billion in the fourth quarter,
following an increase of $232.8 billion in the third.

        U.S. liabilities to foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers (other
than foreign official assets) decreased $46.7 billion in the fourth quarter, after an increase
of $61.5 billion in the third.  (Examples of these liabilities are deposits of foreign
residents at banks in the United States and loans by banks abroad to banks in the United
States.) The change from the third quarter resulted from a shift to a decrease in liabilities
for own accounts; U.S.-owned banks decreased deposits and other liabilities with affiliated
banks (Table 11a).

        Foreign private net purchases of U.S. Treasury securities slowed to $78.7 billion in
the fourth quarter from net purchases of $118.9 billion in the third. The slowdown reflected
fewer net purchases of long-term Treasury bonds (Table 8a).

        Foreign private sales of U.S. securities other than U.S. Treasury securities exceeded
purchases by $37.4 billion in the fourth quarter.  In the third quarter, foreign sales
exceeded purchases by $25.6 billion. Net sales of U.S. corporate bonds increased to $31.3
billion from $9.7 billion and net sales of U.S. stocks decreased to $17.1 billion from $28.3
billion. Net purchases of U.S. federally sponsored agency bonds decreased slightly to $11.0
billion in the fourth quarter from $12.5 billion in the third (Table 8a).


        Foreign direct investment in the United States was $78.3 billion in the fourth quarter,
following investment of $67.6 billion in the third. The increase was accounted for by increases
in reinvested earnings, equity investment, and intercompany debt investment
(Table 7a).

        U.S. liabilities to unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns
decreased $31.3 billion in the fourth quarter, following a decrease of $21.1 billion in the
third.

        Foreign official assets in the United States decreased $0.9 billion in the fourth
quarter, after an increase of $21.8 billion in the third.  The decrease was more than accounted
for by net sales of U.S. Treasury securities, mostly to European countries
(Table 5).

        Net shipments of U.S. currency to foreign countries were $18.8 billion in the fourth
quarter, up from $9.6 billion in the third.

        The statistical discrepancy—net errors and omissions in recorded transactions—was $75.5
billion in the fourth quarter compared with -$45.8 billion in the third.

        In the fourth quarter, the U.S. dollar appreciated 3.7 percent on a trade-weighted
quarterly average basis against a group of 7 major currencies.  (Data are based on Federal
Reserve Statistical Release H.10.)


                                        The Year 2011

                                       Current Account

        The U.S. current-account deficit—the combined balances on trade in goods and services,
income, and net unilateral current transfers—increased to $473.4 billion (preliminary) in 2011
from $470.9 billion in 2010, the second consecutive annual increase in the deficit.  The small
increase resulted from an increase in the deficit on goods that was nearly offset by increases
in the surpluses on income and on services and a decrease in net unilateral current transfers to
foreigners.

Goods and services

        The deficit on goods and services increased to $560.0 billion in 2011 from $500.0
billion in 2010.

        Goods
        The deficit on goods increased to $738.3 billion in 2011 from $645.9 billion in
2010.

        Goods exports increased to $1,497.4 billion from $1,288.7 billion.  All major end-use
categories of exports increased.  Industrial supplies and materials accounted for more than
half of the increase, mostly as a result of increases in petroleum and products and in metals
and nonmetallic products.  An increase in capital goods was mostly accounted for by gains in
machinery and equipment (Table 2a).

        Goods imports increased to $2,235.7 billion from $1,934.6 billion.  All major end-use
categories of imports increased.  Industrial supplies and materials accounted for more than
half of the increase, mostly as a result of an increase in petroleum and products, with a rise
in metals and nonmetallic products also contributing.  An increase in capital goods was
primarily due to an increase in machinery and equipment (Table 2a).

        Services
        The surplus on services increased to $178.3 billion in 2011 from $145.8 billion in 2010.

        Services receipts increased to $607.7 billion from $548.9 billion.  All major categories
of services receipts increased, with the largest increases in other private services, in
royalties and license fees, and in travel.

        Services payments increased to $429.3 billion from $403.0 billion.  Other private
services accounted for more than half of the increase.  Increases in passenger fares, in
travel, in other transportation, and in royalties and license fees, which were nearly identical
in magnitude, also contributed.  These increases were partly offset by small decreases in
direct defense expenditures and in U.S. government miscellaneous services.

Income

        The surplus on income increased to $221.1 billion in 2011 from $165.2 billion in 2010.

        Investment income   
	Income receipts on U.S.-owned assets abroad increased to $733.3 billion from $658.0 
billion.  The increase was almost entirely the result of increases in direct investment receipts 
and in other private receipts (which consists of interest and dividends).

        Income payments on foreign-owned assets in the United States increased to $503.3
billion from $483.5 billion.  The increase was accounted for by increases of similar magnitude
in other private payments (which consists of interest and dividends) and direct investment
payments.  A small decrease in U.S. government payments was partly offsetting.

        Compensation of employees
        Receipts for compensation of U.S. workers abroad increased slightly to $5.4 billion
from $5.3 billion.  Payments for compensation of foreign workers in the United States
decreased slightly to $14.4 billion from $14.5 billion.

Unilateral current transfers

        Net unilateral current transfers to foreigners were $134.6 billion in 2011, down from
$136.1 billion in 2010.  The change was more than accounted for by a decrease in private
remittances and other transfers.  Increases in U.S. government grants and in U.S. government
pensions and other transfers were partly offsetting.

                                       Capital Account

        Net capital account payments (outflows) increased to $1.2 billion in 2011 from $0.2
billion in 2010.

                                      Financial Account

        Net financial inflows were $394.1 billion in 2011, up from $254.3 billion in 2010.
Growth in both U.S.-owned assets abroad and foreign-owned assets in the United States fell
considerably in 2011, but the slowdown in U.S.-owned assets abroad exceeded that in
foreign-owned assets in the United States.

U.S.-owned assets abroad

        U.S.-owned assets abroad increased $396.4 billion in 2011, following an increase of
$1,005.2 billion in 2010.

        U.S. claims on foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers decreased
$221.2 billion in 2011, following an increase of $515.0 billion in 2010.  (Examples of these
claims are U.S. banks’ deposits at foreign banks and U.S. banks’ loans to foreigners.)

        U.S. purchases of foreign securities exceeded sales by $92.9 billion in 2011.  In 2010,
U.S. purchases exceeded sales by $151.9 billion.  Net purchases of foreign stocks increased to
$87.8 billion from $79.1 billion.  Net purchases of foreign bonds decreased to $5.1 billion
from $72.8 billion (Table 8a).

        U.S. direct investment abroad was $406.2 billion in 2011, up from $351.4 billion in
2010; a rise in reinvested earnings accounted for about half of this increase.  Net
intercompany debt investment and equity investment also rose (Table 7a).

        U.S. claims on unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns increased
$0.4 billion in 2011, following a decrease of $7.4 billion in 2010.

        U.S. official reserve assets increased $15.9 billion in 2011, following an increase of
$1.8 billion in 2010.

        U.S. government assets other than official reserve assets increased $102.2 billion in
2011, following a decrease of $7.5 billion in 2010.  The increase resulted from dollar
liquidity swaps between the U.S. and foreign central banks.

Foreign-owned assets in the United States

        Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $783.7 billion in 2011, following
an increase of $1,245.7 billion in 2010.

        U.S. liabilities to foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers (other
than foreign official assets) increased $256.7 billion in 2011, following an increase of
$177.1 billion in 2010.  (Examples of these liabilities are deposits of foreign residents at
banks in the United States and loans by banks abroad to banks in the United States.)

        Private foreign net purchases of U.S. Treasury securities were $141.8 billion in 2011,
down from $256.4 billion in 2010.

        Private foreign sales of U.S. securities other than U.S. Treasury securities exceeded
purchases by $76.3 billion in 2011, a shift from 2010 when foreign purchases exceeded sales by
$120.5 billion.  Net purchases of U.S. stocks were $16.4 billion, down from $143.1 billion.
Net sales of U.S. corporate bonds were $60.3 billion, up from $24.2 billion.  Transactions in
U.S. federally sponsored agency bonds shifted to net foreign sales of $32.4 billion from net
purchases of $1.5 billion (Table 8a).

        Foreign direct investment in the United States was $227.9 billion in 2011, following
investment of $236.2 billion in 2010.  The slowdown was due to a slowdown in equity investment.
Reinvested earnings also slowed slightly while net intercompany debt
investment rose (Table 7a).

        U.S. liabilities to unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns
increased $13.9 billion in 2011, following an increase of $77.5 billion in 2010.

        Foreign official assets in the United States increased $164.8 billion in 2011,
following an increase of $349.8 billion in 2010.  The slowdown was more than accounted for by a
decrease in net foreign purchases of U.S. Treasury securities.

        Net U.S. currency shipments to foreign countries were $55.0 billion in 2011, up from
$28.3 billion in 2010.

        The statistical discrepancy—net errors and omissions in recorded transactions—was $80.5
billion in 2011 compared with $216.8 billion in 2010.

        In 2011, the U.S. dollar depreciated 5.9 percent on a trade-weighted yearly average
basis against a group of 7 major currencies.  (Data are from Federal Reserve Statistical
Release H.10.)


                                          Revisions

        Statistics for the first three quarters of 2011 were revised to reflect revised
seasonal adjustments and, for the third quarter, new or revised source data. Revisions to the
first and second quarters were small. In the third quarter, the current-account deficit was
revised down to $107.6 billion from $110.3 billion. The goods deficit was revised down to
$180.9 billion from $181.8 billion; the services surplus remained at $46.2 billion; the income
surplus was revised up to $60.6 billion from $58.3 billion; and net outflows of unilateral
current transfers were revised up to $33.5 billion from $33.0 billion. Net financial inflows
were revised down to $153.7 billion from $183.9 billion.

                                   *          *          *

	Release dates in 2012:

        Fourth quarter and year 2011................................March 14, 2012 (Wednesday)
        First quarter 2012............................................June 14, 2012 (Thursday)
        Second quarter 2012.......................................September 18, 2012 (Tuesday)
        Third quarter 2012.........................................December 18, 2012 (Tuesday)

                                   *          *          *

        BEA’s national, international, regional, and industry statistics; the Survey of Current
Business; and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA’s Web site at www.bea.gov.
By visiting the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases
and announcements.