A more up-to-date picture of the value of what the United States owns abroad compared to what foreign investors own in this country will debut March 26 when the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) releases its first quarterly estimates of the U.S. international investment position. That release will feature statistics for the end of 2012 as well as quarterly data back to the fourth quarter of 2005.
The new quarterly reports (read more here) will provide more frequent and timelier statistics about the size and composition of the U.S. international investment position. This in turn will help shed light on new market developments and major economic trends as well as allow economists to monitor more closely the United States’ position as a net debtor and better gauge U.S. vulnerability to external financial shocks. The quarterly reports will also bring the United States in line with new guidelines issued by the International Monetary Fund for more frequent data on cross-border linkages following the 2008 financial crisis.
Previously BEA has issued a report each summer that provides detailed information on the U.S. international investment position for the previous year. Last year BEA reported that for 2011 U.S. assets in foreign countries totaled $21.13 trillion while foreign-owned assets here were $25.16 trillion. The difference between the two figures equaled the U.S. net international investment position for 2011 of negative $4.03 trillion.
The international investment position accounts (read more here) complement the international transaction accounts (read more here and here). When used in combination, the two sets of accounts provide a complete statistical picture of the international sector of the U.S. economy.
You can find the latest annual international investment position release here or see a template of what the new quarterly release will look like here. You can also sign up to receive the new quarterly releases by email subscription service.