Survey of Current Business
October 2019
Volume 99, Number 10

U.S. International Investment Position

Second Quarter 2019

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The U.S. net international investment position—the difference between U.S. residents’ foreign financial assets and liabilities—was −$10.56 trillion at the end of the second quarter of 2019 (chart 1). Assets totaled $28.01 trillion, and liabilities were $38.56 trillion. At the end of the first quarter, the net investment position was −$10.16 trillion.

The U.S. international investment position is a statistical balance sheet that presents the dollar value of U.S. external financial assets and liabilities at a specific point in time. A negative net investment position represents a U.S. net liability to the rest of the world.

The −$398.8 billion change in the net investment position from the first quarter to the second quarter came from net financial transactions of −$146.7 billion and net other changes in position, such as price and exchange rate changes, of −$252.1 billion (table A).

U.S. assets increased by $952.7 billion, to a total of $28.01 trillion, at the end of the second quarter, reflecting increases in all major categories of assets, particularly in portfolio investment and direct investment assets (chart 2). Portfolio investment assets increased by $366.4 billion, to $12.68 trillion, and direct investment assets increased by $232.8 billion, to $8.39 trillion. These increases were driven mainly by foreign stock price increases that raised the value of these assets.

Both financial transactions and other changes in position contributed to the overall increase in U.S. assets (table A).

U.S. liabilities increased by $1.35 trillion, to a total of $38.56 trillion, at the end of the second quarter, reflecting increases in all major categories of liabilities, particularly in portfolio investment liabilities (chart 3). Portfolio investment liabilities increased by $665.3 billion, to $20.62 trillion, driven mainly by U.S. stock and bond price increases that raised the value of these liabilities.

Both financial transactions and other changes in position contributed to the overall increase in U.S. liabilities (table A).

The U.S. net international investment position statistics for the first quarter of 2019 have been updated to incorporate newly available and revised source data (table B).