Archive for the 'International' Category

International Statistical Update: Health- and Education-Related Travel Now Part of Travel Services

You may have noticed some data on international travel services look a little bit different. With the release of the monthly trade report on June 4, spending on health- and education-related travel are now counted in the travel services category. Previously, both were included in a category called “other personal services.”

Expenditures on goods and services by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers, which were also previously included in other private services, are reclassified to travel as well.

While this change alone will not affect the overall trade balance, the category measuring travel services – both imports and exports – will be larger. However, BEA will also report quarterly on health- and education-related travel separately from other more traditional business and personal travel so that users can track travel spending in several ways. You can see the new travel services category as well as the subcategories in a new table that will be available on June 18. A template is available now.

This change is part of the Comprehensive Restructuring of BEA’s International Economic Accounts, which we discussed in a recent blog post.

An example of health-related travel is when a foreign person travels to the United States for surgery. In this case, health-related travel exports would include the cost of medical procedures the person receives, in addition to any accommodations and other expenses he or she incurs in the United States.

An example of education-related travel is when a foreign person travels to the U.S. to attend school here. In this case, education-related travel exports would include all costs the foreign student incurs in the United States, including tuition at a U.S. institution. Like other changes to BEA’s international accounts, moving health- and education-related travel to the travel services category brings the U.S. international accounts into closer harmony with data produced by our trading partners and was a recommendation of the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, 6th edition.

Value of Both Foreign Investments in the United States and U.S. Investments Abroad Increased in Third Quarter 2013

The U.S. net international investment position was –$4,165.6 billion (preliminary) at the end of the third quarter of 2013 as the value of foreign investments in the United States exceeded the value of U.S. investments abroad. At the end of the second quarter, the net position was –$4,455.0 billion (revised).iip1230

• The $289.5 billion increase in the net position reflected a $621.5 billion increase in the value of U.S.-owned assets abroad that exceeded a $332.1 billion increase in the value of foreign-owned assets in the United States.

• The U.S. net position increased primarily as rising foreign stock prices, as well as the appreciation of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar, increased the value of U.S.-owned assets abroad more than the increase in the value of foreign-owned assets in the United States.

• The U.S. net international investment position increased 6.5 percent in the third quarter compared with a 5.2 percent decrease in the second quarter, and an average quarterly decrease of 7.6 percent from the first quarter of 2011 through the second quarter of 2013.

• U.S.-owned assets abroad were $21,590.9 billion at the end of the third quarter, compared with $20,969.4 billion at the end of the second quarter.

• Foreign-owned assets in the United States were $25,756.5 billion at the end of the third quarter, compared with $25,424.4 billion at the end of the second quarter.

For more on the U.S. net international investment position, read the full report.