In-depth Data on Foreign Investment Get an Update

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has updated its most detailed data on foreign-owned businesses in the United States, providing an extraordinary level of detail for researchers and others interested in the effects of foreign direct investment in U.S. states and specific industries.

The new data reflect industry categories applied down to the level of individual establishments – such as each foreign-owned office, factory, or hotel – for the year 2007. The statistics are the result of a periodic, complex project that merges BEA and Census Bureau datasets. Although the resulting statistics are produced with a time lag, there is unique value in their in-depth look at foreign investment by industry, state, and country of ownership.

The establishment-level data is broken down into more than 1,000 industry categories, compared with about 200 industry categories in other BEA data on foreign direct investment.

For all foreign-owned establishments, there are statistics on employment, payroll and shipping or sales. There are additional statistics for manufacturing establishments, including value added, total compensation of employees, employee benefits, hourly wage rates of production workers, and expenditures for new plants and equipment.

For example, 2,237 people worked in foreign-owned seafood processing plants in Alaska in 2007. There were 400 French-owned clothing stores in the United States. And shipments or sales from Japanese-owned establishments in Indiana were valued at $23.2 billion.

The project links BEA’s less-detailed data on foreign-owned companies with Census’ establishment-level data on all companies in the United States. The previous release of establishment data for foreign direct investment covered 2002.

A U.S. business is defined as a foreign-owned U.S. affiliate if it is owned 10 percent or more, either directly or indirectly, by a foreign entity.

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