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New Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, 2014 – 2016

Expenditures by foreign direct investors to acquire, establish, or expand U.S. businesses were $373.4 billion in 2016, down $66.2 billion, or 15 percent, from $439.6 billion in 2015.

FDI Graph

  • Expenditures for acquisitions were $365.7 billion, expenditures to establish new U.S. businesses were $5.6 billion, and expenditures to expand existing foreign-owned businesses were $2.2 billion.
  • Total greenfield investment expenditures—expenditures to either establish a new U.S. business or to expand an existing foreign-owned U.S. business—for investments initiated in 2016 which include both first-year expenditures and planned spending in other years, totaled $22.0 billion.
  • Employment at newly acquired, established, or expanded foreign-owned businesses in the United States was 480,800 employees.

For more information, read the full report. 

It’s Nearly Time for the Summer Ritual of Updating GDP Numbers

The annual update of gross domestic product is coming soon. As it does every summer, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will revisit its earlier GDP estimates and other national data and make some changes. Does that mean the older numbers were wrong?

No, and here’s why:

Each vintage of GDP – whether it’s the earliest estimate for a particular quarter or an annual number – is based on the information available at the time it was made. As more complete and detailed data about a given time period flows in, BEA incorporates this new information to sharpen the previously released numbers.

On July 28, BEA will continue this cycle by releasing updated quarterly and annual GDP data covering 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as the first quarter of this year. At the same time, BEA will release its first estimate of GDP for the second quarter.

Here’s how the cycle begins: Four times a year, about a month after each calendar quarter ends, BEA releases its first estimate of that quarter’s GDP. It’s produced by a team of about 100 economists using data that comes from a variety of sources, including government surveys and private data collectors. Even though they have thousands of data points to work with, there are still holes and gaps in the data that the economists must fill using statistical tools and analysis based on historical trends.

This first estimate, called the “advance estimate,” is best viewed as a snapshot of the economy, not a final product. Though preliminary, these snapshots are relied upon by policymakers, investors, business people and other Americans who value both the accuracy and the timeliness of BEA’s data.

In the next two months, the GDP estimate for that same quarter will be updated twice, each time using more complete and detailed information. The quarter’s estimate is likely to change somewhat as the new source data fills some of the gaps in the original dataset.

A similar process applies to the annual update each summer, just on a larger scale.

Just like with quarterly estimates, BEA’s economists use the best data they have to produce each year’s annual GDP estimate. As time goes on, more data become available from the Census Bureau, the federal budget, the IRS,  and elsewhere. When they look back in the summer update, the economists use this information to build stronger estimates for past years and quarters.

In addition, BEA’s economists are continually looking for ways to refine and update their methodology. The annual update is usually the time when methodological improvements are made to GDP. Those improvements are then applied to previous estimates of GDP over past years and quarters to maintain consistency.

That’s how GDP numbers are updated every summer when BEA looks back.

Send Us Your Suggestions About Outdoor Recreation Statistics


The Bureau of Economic Analysis is seeking your input as it develops a set of statistics to capture the economic impact of outdoor recreation.

A notice in the Federal Register on June 26 opened a 30-day period for public comment about the first-of-its-kind Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account.

The project is a collaboration with the Federal Recreation Council, a group of seven agencies that are prominent stewards of public lands and waters. It was authorized by the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Impact Act of 2016.

The first major step is defining “outdoor recreation” and the range of activities the account should cover. BEA then will determine the account’s data sources and methodologies. Although economic activity associated with outdoor recreation is already embedded in our gross domestic product data, this supplemental account will separate and spotlight these activities in a way not currently possible.

The outdoor rec account will provide detailed data to deepen the public’s understanding of a vibrant part of the U.S. economy and improve governance and long-term management of public lands and waters.

Child playing in water at beach

The solicitation for public comments stemming from the Federal Register notice is part of a broader effort by BEA and its partners to get your feedback on this project.  We’ve been reaching out since late April to gather comments from interested parties through a separate process that recently wrapped up.

We’re particularly interested in receiving responses to these questions:

  • What recreation-related activities should fall within the scope of the account?
  • In addition to data about outdoor recreation’s economic output, value added, employment and compensation, what other statistics would you like to see in this account?
  • What datasets could supplement BEA’s core statistics to help estimate outdoor recreation’s share of goods and services that fall partially within the scope of the account?
  • What data sets could be used in the future to possibly produce regional economic data about outdoor recreation?

Submit comments via email to Comments sent by any other method or after the comment period may not be considered.  All comments become part of the public record.


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