Archive for the 'BEA News' Category

Detailed Direct Investment Data for 2015 Now Available

Detailed statistics on U.S. direct investment abroad – or “outward direct investment”– and on foreign direct investment in the United States – or “inward direct investment” – are now available on BEA’s website.

Preliminary direct investment statistics are available for 2015 and revised statistics for 2013 – 2014 for outward direct investment and 2012 – 2014 for inward direct investment. These data are now incorporated into the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ data tool, International Trade and Investment Country Facts, as well as BEA’s interactive data tables.

These newly released statistics include data on direct investment for selected countries by major industry on financial transactions, equity, debt instruments, reinvestment of earnings, and income. Statistics are also now available for positions, financial transactions, and income for all countries and for all industries. For inward direct investment, supplementary statistics classified by country of the ultimate beneficial owner are also now available.

In addition to these statistics, another batch of data, previously only available each September in the Survey of Current Business, is now available on our website.   This batch includes data on reinvestment ratios and rates of return for both outward and inward direct investment. BEA will still publish these data in a Survey of Current Business article in September.

These new data on direct investment provide vital information to answer questions such as:  Where do U.S. companies invest abroad? And which countries invest in the United States?

The map below shows the level of direct investment by U.S. multinationals in foreign countries. This series is based on the country of the immediate investment, or the first step in the ownership chain outside of the United States.

Outward Direct Investment July 25

The next map shows the level of foreign direct investment in the United States by foreign multinationals. This series is based on the country of immediate investor, or the first step in the ownership chain outside of the United States. Information on the level of investment by the ultimate owner level (which is the entity who ultimately benefits from the investment) also available in BEA’s interactive data tables.

Inward Direct Investment July 25

The maps shown above can be found in the July 2016 Survey of Current Business article summarizing the 2015 direct investment positions.

BEA Announces Selection of New Deputy Director


thompsonSarahelen “Sally” Thompson will become the Bureau of Economic Analysis’  new Deputy Director, starting on July 24.

In her new role,  Dr. Thompson, who joined BEA four years ago as the top executive overseeing international economic statistics, will work closely with BEA Director Brian Moyer and his executive team to improve and expand the agency’s statistical programs.

“In this rapidly changing economic environment, it is essential that we keep BEA’s statistics relevant and up to date,” said Dr. Moyer in announcing the selection.  “We are fortunate to have someone like Sally with the skills and dedication to move us forward and to help us tackle the variety of measurement challenges confronting our economic accounts.”

As Associate Director for International Economics, Dr. Thompson has been responsible for the production of BEA’s international statistics, including the current account, the U.S. investment position and the operations of multinational enterprises.   In her current post, Dr. Thompson led the most significant restructuring of BEA’s international statistics since 1976, played a key role in developing statistics that track new direct investment by foreigners in the United States, and oversaw the creation of a data tool to provide easier access to BEA’s vast array of international statistics.

Before she came to BEA, Dr. Thompson was director of the Market and Trade Economics Division at the USDA’s Economic Research Service. Prior to that, she worked in academia, including as a professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University and as a professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois.  Dr. Thompson received a doctorate from Stanford University and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Thompson takes over the No. 2 post from Dr. Moyer, who, since being elevated to Director in September 2014, also has been filling in as acting Deputy Director.

Industry in Focus: Construction on the Rise

Although the U.S. economy has changed considerably over time, construction is an industry that’s maintained its importance. We no longer depend on telegraphs as we once did, but we’ll always need a place to live. Construction also is an industry in which the products can differ to a great degree. While cellphones may be quite similar to one another, office buildings take shapes ranging from the Empire State Building to a one-story structure in the suburbs. Moreover, the construction industry is unusually sensitive to regional and seasonal differences. Buildings in Chicago, Honolulu and Anchorage can look quite different from each other, and the amount of time that can be spent building in those cities differs as well.

In the first quarter of this year, construction was the largest contributor to the U.S. economy’s growth of 1.1 percent. Construction contributed 0.36 percentage point to inflation-adjusted, or real, GDP growth. The industry’s growth in real value added accelerated to 9.0%, after increasing 7.6% in the previous quarter.  Construction has expanded for six consecutive quarters, and when you compare construction’s performance since the beginning of 2015 with industries that may get more attention in the news (such as two of our previous Industry in Focus subjects, information and health care), you see the construction industry has performed well (see the blue bar in the chart below).  Charts like these are just one of the many tools you can create automatically using BEA’s interactive data retrieval application, iTables.

Price changes in chain-type july 21

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