Survey of Current Business
January 2020
Volume 100, Number 1

U.S. Net International Investment Position

Third 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 −$10.95 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2019 (chart 1). Assets totaled $28.26 trillion and liabilities were $39.21 trillion. At the end of the second quarter, the net investment position was −$10.61 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 −$338.1 billion change in the net investment position from the second quarter to the third quarter came from net financial transactions of −$39.8 billion and net other changes in position, such as price and exchange rate changes, of −$298.3 billion (table A).

U.S. assets increased by $286.8 billion, to a total of $28.26 trillion, at the end of the third quarter, driven by increases in financial derivatives other than reserves (chart 2). Financial derivatives increased by $306.1 billion, to $2.08 trillion, mostly reflecting increases in single-currency interest rate contracts.

Financial transactions contributed to the overall increase in U.S. assets (table A).

U.S. liabilities increased by $624.9 billion, to a total of $39.21 trillion, at the end of the third quarter, reflecting increases in all major categories of liabilities, particularly in financial derivatives other than reserves and in portfolio investment liabilities (chart 3). Financial derivatives increased by $291.5 billion, to $2.05 trillion, mostly reflecting increases in single-currency interest rate contracts. Portfolio investment liabilities increased by $223.1 billion, to $20.87 trillion, driven by net foreign purchases of U.S. debt securities and by U.S. bond price increases.

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 second quarter of 2019 have been updated to incorporate newly available and revised source data (table B).