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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.

Quarterly Gross Domestic Product by State, 2005–2013 (Prototype Statistics)

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  • The quarterly GDP by state prototype statistics for 2005-2013 provide a more complete picture of economic growth across states as they evolve from quarter to quarter. 
  • The quarterly GDP by state statistics are released for 21 industry sectors and are released in both current dollars and inflation-adjusted chained (2009) dollars. 
  • Nondurable-goods manufacturing was the largest contributor to U.S. real GDP by state growth in the fourth quarter of 2013. This industry was the leading contributor to real GDP growth in 31 states in the fourth quarter. 
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services was the second largest contributor to U.S. real GDP growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2013. This industry contributed to the growth in 49 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter of 2013. 
  • Wholesale trade contributed to real GDP growth in 48 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter of 2013. 
  • Construction subtracted from real GDP growth in 47 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Read the full report.

U.S. Virgin Islands’ Economy Shrinks for Third Consecutive Year

The estimates of Gross Domestic Product for the U.S. Virgin Islands show that real GDP, adjusted to remove price changes, decreased 5.4 percent in 2013. This was the third consecutive decline following decreases of 13.8 percent in 2012 and 7.5 percent in 2011.

The 2013 decline in the Virgin Islands economy reflected decreases in exports of goods and in consumer spending. The decrease in exports of goods reflected the decline of the petroleum refining industry that for many years had played a dominant role in the economy. The Hovensa oil refinery, one of the world’s largest oil refineries, shut down operations on St. Croix in early 2012.

The decrease in consumer spending reflected decreases in spending on nondurable goods and on services.

Excluding the imports, exports, and inventory investment of the petroleum refining industry, GDP would have increased 0.6 percent in 2013, reflecting growth in tourism services and in exports of rum. Visitor arrivals increased 2.2 percent; exports of rum increased approximately 22 percent.

Read the full report here.