News Release: U.S. International Transactions

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FOR WIRE TRANSMISSION: 8:30 A.M. EDT, FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
BEA 13-27


Sarah Scott: (202) 606-9286 (Data)
Paul W. Farello: (202) 606-9561 (Revisions)
U.S. International Transactions: First Quarter 2013 and Annual Revisions

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 $106.1 billion (preliminary) in the
first quarter of 2013 from $102.3 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2012. The increase
in the current-account deficit was accounted for by a decrease in the surplus on income and an
increase in outflows of net unilateral current transfers, such as government grants, government
pensions, and private remittances. These changes were partly offset by a decrease in the deficit
on goods and an increase in the surplus on services.

Goods and services

      The deficit on goods and services decreased to $123.7 billion in the first quarter from
$127.4 billion in the fourth.

      Goods

      The deficit on goods decreased to $179.1 billion in the first quarter from $182.4 billion
in the fourth.

      Goods exports increased to $391.0 billion from $390.3 billion. Increases in two major end-
use categories more than offset decreases in the other four categories. The largest increase was
in industrial supplies and materials. The largest decrease was in “exports, not elsewhere classified.”
The increase in industrial supplies and materials was led by nonmonetary gold and chemicals
(Table 2a).

      Goods imports decreased to $570.1 billion from $572.7 billion. Imports of three of the six
major end-use categories decreased. The largest decreases were in automotive vehicles, parts,
and engines and in industrial supplies and materials. The decrease in imports of automotive vehicles,
parts, and engines was mostly due to a decrease in passenger cars. The decrease in imports of
industrial supplies and materials was more than accounted for by a decrease in petroleum and
products. The largest increases were in imports of foods, feeds, and beverages and in “imports,
not elsewhere classified, and U.S. goods returned” (Table 2a).

      Services

      The surplus on services increased to $55.5 billion in the first quarter from $55.0 billion
in the fourth.

      Services exports increased to $168.0 billion from $166.2 billion. Exports increased in five
of the seven major services categories. The largest increases were in travel and in other
transportation (which includes freight and port services) (Table 3a).

      Services imports increased to $112.6 billion from $111.2 billion. Imports increased in five
of the seven major services categories. Increases were of similar magnitude in other transportation,
passenger fares, travel, and royalties and license fees (Table 3a).

Income

      The surplus on income decreased to $52.0 billion in the first quarter from $57.0 billion
in the fourth.

      Investment income

      Income receipts on U.S.-owned assets abroad decreased to $191.3 billion from $195.2 billion.
The decrease was more than accounted for by a decrease in direct investment receipts (Table 4).

      Income payments on foreign-owned assets in the United States increased to $137.4 billion
from $136.3 billion. The increase was more than accounted for by increases in direct investment
payments and other private payments (Table 4).

      Compensation of employees

      Receipts for compensation of U.S. residents paid by nonresidents remained at $1.6 billion
in the first quarter. Payments for compensation of foreign residents paid by U.S. residents
remained at $3.6 billion.

Unilateral current transfers

      Net unilateral current transfers to foreigners were $34.5 billion in the first quarter,
up from $31.9 billion in the fourth. The increase was partly accounted for by a shift from net
inflows of U.S. government pensions and other transfers in the fourth quarter to net outflows
in the first quarter. This shift reflects transactions related to cross-border fines and penalties,
a new series incorporated into the U.S. international transactions accounts beginning with statistics
for 1999 (see Revisions on page 6). Private remittances and other transfers and U.S. government
grants also increased.

                                       Capital Account

      Net capital-account payments were near zero in the first quarter after net receipts of
$7.7 billion in the fourth quarter. The large receipts in the fourth quarter reflected receipts
from foreign insurance companies for losses resulting from Superstorm Sandy.

                                      Financial Account

      Net financial inflows were $80.7 billion in the first quarter, down from $129.4 billion
in the fourth. Growth of both U.S.-owned assets abroad and foreign-owned assets in the United
States in the first quarter exceeded that in the fourth. Net inflows of financial derivatives
increased in the first quarter.

U.S.-owned assets abroad

      U.S.-owned assets abroad increased $218.8 billion in the first quarter after increasing
$116.0 billion in the fourth.

      U.S. official reserve assets increased $0.9 billion in the first quarter after decreasing
$0.9 billion in the fourth. The first-quarter increase reflected an increase in the U.S. reserve
position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

      U.S. government assets other than official reserve assets decreased $0.8 billion in the
first quarter after decreasing $2.4 billion in the fourth.

      U.S. direct investment abroad was $88.5 billion in the first quarter, down from $95.4 billion
in the fourth. The decrease was accounted for by lower reinvested earnings than in the fourth
quarter (Table 7a).

      U.S. purchases of foreign securities exceeded sales (net purchases) by $130.6 billion in
the first quarter, up from net purchases of $73.0 billion in the fourth. Net purchases of foreign
stocks were $72.6 billion, up from net purchases of $10.4 billion in the fourth. Net purchases
of foreign bonds were $57.9 billion, down from net purchases of $62.6 billion in the fourth
(Table 8a).

      U.S. claims on unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns increased $16.3
billion in the first quarter after decreasing $18.3 billion in the fourth.

      U.S. claims on foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers decreased $16.6
billion in the first quarter after decreasing $30.8 billion in the fourth. Examples of these
claims are deposits of U.S. banks at foreign banks and loans by U.S. banks to foreigners.

Foreign-owned assets in the United States

      Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $295.5 billion in the first quarter
after increasing $242.4 billion in the fourth.

      Foreign official assets in the United States increased $84.8 billion in the first quarter
after increasing $84.4 billion in the fourth.

      Foreign direct investment in the United States was $22.8 billion in the first quarter,
down from $42.3 billion in the fourth. The decrease was more than accounted for by lower equity
investment than in the fourth quarter. The decrease in equity investment was partly offset by
lower net outflows of intercompany debt investment (Table 7a).

      Foreign private purchases of U.S. Treasury securities exceeded sales by $109.4 billion in
the first quarter, an increase from fourth-quarter net purchases of $33.5 billion. The increase
from the fourth quarter was accounted for by increased net purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds and
notes, and a shift from net sales to net purchases of U.S. Treasury bills and certificates
(Table 8a and Table 11a).

      Foreign private sales of U.S. securities other than U.S. Treasury securities exceeded
purchases by $10.9 billion in the first quarter, a shift from net purchases of $143.5 billion
in the fourth. Net sales of U.S. stocks were $24.7 billion, a shift from net purchases of $94.7
billion. Net sales of U.S. federally sponsored agency bonds were $19.7 billion, a shift from net
purchases of $5.0 billion. Net purchases of U.S. corporate bonds were $33.5 billion, down from
$43.8 billion (Table 8a).

      Net shipments of U.S. currency to foreign countries were $5.0 billion in the first quarter
following net shipments of $15.8 billion in the fourth.

      U.S. liabilities to unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns decreased
$20.5 billion in the first quarter after decreasing $22.4 billion in the fourth.

      U.S. liabilities to foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers, other than
those recorded under foreign official assets, increased $105.0 billion in the first quarter after
decreasing $54.7 billion in the fourth. Examples of these liabilities are deposits of foreign
residents at U.S. banks and loans by foreign banks to U.S. banks.

Financial Derivatives

      Net inflows of financial derivatives were $3.9 billion in the first quarter after net inflows
of $3.0 billion in the fourth.

                                   *          *          *

      The statistical discrepancy—the amount that balances the sum of the recorded credits and
debits across all the accounts in the international transactions accounts—was $25.5 billion in
the first quarter compared with -$34.7 billion in the fourth.

      In the first quarter, the U.S. dollar appreciated 2.2 percent on a trade-weighted quarterly
average basis against a group of 7 major currencies. In the fourth quarter, the U.S. dollar
depreciated 1.3 percent on the same basis. Exchange rate data are based on Federal Reserve
Statistical Release H.10.

                                          Revisions

      The statistics of the U.S. international transactions accounts released today have been
revised for the first quarter of 1999 to the fourth quarter of 2012 to incorporate newly available
and revised source data, updated seasonal adjustments, changes in definitions and classifications,
and improved estimating methodologies.

      The revisions to the current-account balance mostly reflect newly available and revised
data from BEA’s surveys of international services transactions and direct investment, and revised
data on portfolio investment that resulted in revisions to portfolio income statistics. The revisions
to portfolio income statistics and to net financial flows mostly reflect newly available information
from three Treasury International Capital (TIC) surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Board
and the U.S. Department of the Treasury: Aggregate Holdings of Long-Term Securities by U.S. and
Foreign Residents (SLT), the Benchmark Survey of U.S. Ownership of Foreign Securities at end-
December 2011, and the Annual Survey of Foreign Portfolio Holdings of U.S. Securities at end-
June 2012. An article in the May 2013 issue of the SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS describing these
and other revisions is available on BEA’s Web site.

      Key changes introduced in this annual revision are summarized below.

Reclassifications

    * Exports of goods and services are revised for 2007-2012 to reflect a refined classification
      methodology for exports under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.

    * Imports of goods and services are revised for 1999-2012 to reflect a reclassification of
      certain military-related imports from services to goods.

    * U.S. government miscellaneous services payments and compensation payments are revised for
      2003-2012 to reflect a reclassification of certain transactions by the U.S. Department of
      State from services to compensation.

Source data and methodologies

    * Imports of goods on a balance of payments basis are revised for 1999-2012 to eliminate an
      adjustment previously used to deduct certain imports of military-related goods from data
      on a Census basis to avoid duplicating imports included in source data provided to BEA by
      the U.S. Department of Defense.

    * “Other” private services receipts and payments are revised for 2003-2012 to implement an
      improved method for estimating expenditures by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers.

    * Goods exports and imports are also revised for 2010-2012 to reflect revised Census Bureau
      data on goods on a Census basis.

    * Services exports and imports are also revised for 2010-2012 to reflect newly available and
      revised data from BEA’s quarterly services surveys and the results of BEA’s 2011 Benchmark
      Survey of Transactions in Selected Services and Intellectual Property with Foreign Persons.

    * Unilateral current transfers are revised for 1999-2012 to introduce new estimates that are
      derived from publicly available records of cross-border fines and penalties for anti-trust
      violations and bribery. These new estimates are now included in “U.S. government pensions
      and other transfers” and in “private remittances and other transfers.”

    * U.S. holdings and transactions in foreign stocks and bonds and related dividend and interest
      receipts are revised for 2010-2012 to incorporate new source data from the U.S. Department
      of the Treasury. Beginning with end-December 2011, new monthly data on cross-border holdings
      of U.S. and foreign long-term securities collected by the Department of the Treasury are
      now incorporated into financial-account transactions for long-term securities. The data
      on long-term securities are from the Treasury International Capital (TIC) form Aggregate
      Holdings of Long-Term Securities by U.S. and Foreign Residents (SLT). Data from the SLT
      for foreign securities are used along with the Benchmark Survey of U.S. Ownership of Foreign
      Securities at end-December 2011 that provides more detail than is available from the SLT.

    * Foreign holdings and transactions in U.S. stocks and in U.S. corporate, agency, and Treasury
      bonds and related dividend and interest payments are revised for 2011 and 2012 to incorporate
      new source data from the Department of the Treasury. Data from the new TIC form SLT are
      used along with the Annual Survey of Foreign Portfolio Holdings of U.S. Securities at end-
      June 2012 that provides more detail than is available from the SLT.

    * For U.S. direct investment abroad, financial flows and related income receipts and payments
      are revised for 2009-2012 to incorporate the results of BEA’s 2009 Benchmark Survey of U.S.
      Direct Investment Abroad. For both U.S. direct investment abroad and foreign direct investment
      in the United States, financial flows and related income receipts and payments are revised
      for 2010-2012 to incorporate newly available and revised data from BEA’s quarterly direct
      investment surveys.

      Additional information on the revisions to the U.S. international transactions accounts
and the U.S. international investment position will be provided in the July issue of the SURVEY
OF CURRENT BUSINESS.

Revisions to fourth quarter 2012

      The current-account deficit in the fourth quarter of 2012 was revised downward to $102.3
billion from $110.4 billion. The goods deficit was revised upward to $182.4 billion from $180.6
billion. The services surplus was revised upward to $55.0 billion from $52.2 billion. The income
surplus was revised upward to $57.0 billion from $52.4 billion. Net outflows of unilateral current
transfers were revised downward to $31.9 billion from $34.4 billion. Net financial inflows were
revised upward to $129.4 billion from $58.4 billion.

                                   *          *          *

	Release dates in 2013:

        Fourth Quarter and Year 2012...................................March 14, 2013 (Thursday)
        First Quarter 2013 and Annual Revisions...........................June 14, 2013 (Friday)
        Second Quarter 2013........................................September 19, 2013 (Thursday)
        Third Quarter 2013...........................................December 17, 2013 (Tuesday)

                                   *          *          *

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BUSINESS; and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA’s Web site.
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On June 25, BEA will release preliminary statistics of the U.S. international investment position
for the first quarter of 2013 and revised statistics for 2009-2012, including detailed annual
statistics for 2009-2012 that present changes in positions resulting from financial transactions
and valuation changes such as price, exchange-rate, and other changes. The release will also
include a discussion of revisions to the international investment position accounts. A more detailed
discussion of the U.S. international investment position and the revisions to those accounts will
appear in an article in the July SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS.

NOTE: This news release is available on BEA’s Web site along with Highlights 
related to this release, the latest detailed statistics for U.S. international transactions, and 
a description of the estimation methods used to compile them. The first quarter
statistics in this release are preliminary and will be revised on September 19, 2013. All links
in the text of this release—including archived versions of this release—refer to the latest available
revised statistics.