New Statistics on the Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises are Now Available

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released preliminary 2012 statistics on the outward activities of multinational enterprises (AMNEs). Outward AMNE statistics cover the worldwide activities of U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs). These statistics provide information on the finance and operations of U.S. MNEs, including balance sheet and income statement details, employment and employee compensation, sales, value added, capital expenditures, trade in goods, and expenditures for research and development (R&D). The statistics can be used to measure the scale of the global business activity of U.S. MNEs as well as their impact on the U.S. economy and foreign host economies.

The worldwide operations of a U.S. MNE can be divided between its domestic operations, represented by the U.S. parent company, and its foreign operations, represented by foreign affiliates. Statistics for foreign affiliates are presented for two categories—all affiliates, which are at least 10 percent owned by their U.S. parents, and majority-owned foreign affiliates (MOFAs), which are more than 50 percent owned by their U.S. parents.

Highlights of the new data include:

  • The value added of U.S. MNEs rose 2.0 percent to $4,667.0 billion in 2012 after rising 9.2 percent in 2011. The increase reflected a 2.7 percent increase in the value added of U.S. parents and a 0.3 percent increase in the value added of their MOFAs.
  • Employment by U.S. MNEs increased 1.1 percent to 35.2 million workers in 2012 after increasing 2.2 percent in 2011. The increase reflected a 0.5 percent increase in the employment of U.S. parents and a 2.2 percent increase in the employment of MOFAs. U.S. parents accounted for one-fifth of the total U.S. private industry employment in 2012.
  • U.S. MNE capital expenditures rose 12.2 percent in 2012, reflecting growth for both U.S. parents (10.7 percent) and MOFAs (16.4 percent).
  • U.S. MNE R&D expenditures rose 3.6 percent in 2012, reflecting growth for U.S. parents (4.4 percent) and a slight decline for MOFAs (–0.2 percent).
  • Fifteen countries—the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Australia, Japan, France, China, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Italy—accounted for more than two-thirds of value added by MOFAs in 2012.

The newly released statistics also include revised 2011 statistics on the outward activities of multinational enterprises.

BEA also produces inward AMNE statistics that cover U.S. affiliates of foreign MNEs; these statistics will be released later this year.

Starting with the release of the 2012 preliminary and 2011 revised statistics, BEA has adopted the use of standard international terminology in BEA’s international economic accounts by replacing the term “multinational companies” with “multinational enterprises” and the term “financial and operating (F&O)” statistics with “activities of multinational enterprises (AMNE).” This change in terminology reflects BEA’s effort to conform more closely with international guidelines and does not affect the actual statistics produced.



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