BEA: Direct Investment by Country and Industry, 2018

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released direct investment by country and industry 2018 statistics on July 24.

The U.S. direct investment abroad position, or cumulative level of investment, decreased $62.3 billion to $5.95 trillion at the end of 2018 from $6.01 trillion at the end of 2017. The decrease was due to the repatriation of accumulated prior earnings by U.S. multinationals from their foreign affiliates, largely in response to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The decrease reflected a $75.8 billion decrease in the position in Latin America and Other Western Hemisphere, primarily in Bermuda. By industry, holding company affiliates owned by U.S. manufacturers accounted for most of the decrease.

The foreign direct investment in the United States position increased $319.1 billion to $4.34 trillion at the end of 2018 from $4.03 trillion at the end of 2017. The increase mainly reflected a $226.1 billion increase in the position from Europe, primarily the Netherlands and Ireland. By industry, affiliates in manufacturing, retail trade, and real estate accounted for the largest increases.

Other highlights from the direct investment statistics for 2018:

  • The U.S. direct investment abroad position decreased for the first time since 1982 due to repatriations of $776.5 billion by U.S. multinationals. By country, nearly half of the repatriations were from Bermuda and the Netherlands. By industry, U.S. multinationals in chemical manufacturing and computer and electronic products manufacturing repatriated the most.
  • The foreign direct investment in the United States position was concentrated in the U.S. manufacturing sector, which accounted for 40.8 percent of the position.

Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S. Rises in 2018

Graphic on New Foreign Direct Investment Expenditures by Type, 1996-2018. (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)

On July 2, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released updated annual statistics on the amount and characteristics of new investments in the United States by foreign investors.

Expenditures by foreign direct investors to acquire, establish, or expand U.S. businesses totaled $296.4 billion in 2018, up 8.7 percent from $272.8 billion in 2017.

Additional highlights of the statistics on new foreign direct investment for 2018:

  • Expenditures for acquisitions were $287.3 billion, expenditures to establish new U.S. businesses were $5.3 billion, and expenditures to expand existing foreign-owned businesses were $3.8 billion.
  • Total planned greenfield investment expenditures—expenditures to establish new U.S. businesses and to expand existing foreign-owned U.S. businesses—for investments initiated in 2018, which include both first-year spending and planned spending in other years, totaled $30.8 billion.
  • Employment at newly acquired, established, or expanded foreign-owned businesses in the United States was 430,600 in 2018.

Treasury International Capital Data for March

Washington – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today released Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for March 2019. The next release, which will report on data for April 2019, is scheduled for June 17, 2019.

The sum total in March of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a net TIC outflow of $8.1 billion. Of this, net foreign private inflows were $13.6 billion, and net foreign official outflows were $21.7 billion.

Foreign residents decreased their holdings of long-term U.S. securities in March; net sales were $30.3 billion. Net sales by private foreign investors were $20.6 billion, while net sales by foreign official institutions were $9.7 billion.

U.S. residents decreased their holdings of long-term foreign securities, with net sales of $1.9 billion.

Taking into account transactions in both foreign and U.S. securities, net foreign sales of long-term securities were $28.4 billion. After including adjustments, such as estimates of unrecorded principal payments to foreigners on U.S. asset-backed securities, overall net foreign sales of long-term securities are estimated to have been $40.6 billion in March.

Foreign residents increased their holdings of U.S. Treasury bills by $23.9 billion. Foreign resident holdings of all dollar-denominated short-term U.S. securities and other custody liabilities increased by $69.7 billion.

Banks’ own net dollar-denominated liabilities to foreign residents decreased by $37.2 billion.

2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summits

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) is the preeminent annual gathering that convenes entrepreneurs, investors, and their supporters globally. An estimated 20,000 emerging leaders have participated in Global Entrepreneurship Summits since 2010. At previous GES summits, governments and the private sector have committed to provide over $1 billion in new capital to entrepreneurs worldwide.

On November 15, 2018, the U.S. and the Netherlands officially launched the upcoming 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which is scheduled to be held in The Hague, Netherlands on June 4-5, 2019. As previously announced by President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Mark Rutte in July, the ninth annual GES will underscore the commitment by both countries to entrepreneurship and innovation. The launch kick-starts the “Road to GES” events, taking place in both the Netherlands and the United States.

The 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit will invite the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs innovating in Agri/Food, Connectivity, Energy, Health, and Water five key investment areas.

Job creation smashes expectations, unemployment rate falls to 49-year low

The United States economy continued to thrive in April, with the unemployment rate dropping to 3.6 percent—the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) household survey. April also marks the 14th consecutive month of the unemployment rate being at or below 4 percent.

The rapidly growing economy continues to benefit a wide range of demographic groups. The unemployment rate for adult women (20+) reached 3.1 percent in April, its lowest rate since 1953. The unemployment rate for Hispanics fell to 4.2 percent—the lowest rate since the series began in 1973. The unemployment rate for individuals with only a high school degree fell to 3.5 percent—matching the lowest rate since 2000. The unemployment rate for those with a disability fell to 6.3 percent in April—the lowest rate since the series began in 2008. Additionally, the unemployment rate for veterans fell to 2.3 percent—the lowest rate since the series began in 2000.

The U-6 unemployment rate, a broader measure of unemployment that includes those who are unemployed, marginally attached to the labor force, and working part-time for economic reasons, remained at 7.3 percent in April, matching the lowest U-6 rate since December 2000.

A separate survey from BLS, the Employment Situation Report, showed total nonfarm payroll employment in April rose by 263,000 jobs, far surpassing market expectations (190,000). In total, the economy has added over 5.8 million jobs since President Donald J. Trump was elected. The month of April continued the longest streak of growth on record.

Employment gains have exceeded 100,000 jobs in 27 of the 29 months since the 2016 election. Including revisions for the months of February and March, the average pace of job growth has been a healthy 218,000 jobs per month over the past year and 205,000 jobs per month so far in 2019. Job gains were predominantly concentrated in professional and business services (76,000 new jobs), education and health services (62,000 new jobs), and leisure and hospitality (34,000 new jobs). The construction sector added 33,000 new jobs in April, and has added 669,000 jobs since the 2016 election.

On top of the good news about job growth, the report indicates that wages are rising, too. Nominal average hourly earnings in April rose by 3.2 percent over the past 12 months, marking the 9th straight month that year-over-year wage gains were at or above 3 percent. Prior to 2018, nominal average hourly wage gains had not reached 3 percent since April 2009. Taking inflation into account, there is more evidence that real wages are also growing. Based on the most recent Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index data from March, inflation in the past year was 1.5 percent, and, based on the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) price data from March, inflation in the past year was 1.9 percent. This offers evidence that real wages are rising, and people are able to purchase more goods and services with their larger paychecks.

These most recent BLS surveys depict a strong American economy. Employment growth in April surpassed expectations with 263,000 new jobs, while the unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is the lowest rate in nearly half a century. With continued positive job growth, sustained low unemployment, and rising real wages, the economy continues to thrive.

U.S. Economy Grows 3.2 Percent in First Quarter

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the first quarter 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers. The Bureau found that the real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

“This blockbuster GDP report shows that President Donald J. Trump’s policies are unleashing the vitality of the American economy, fulfilling the President’s promise for 3 percent economic growth and benefiting American workers in the form of better jobs and higher wages,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The Trump economy has repeatedly defied the skeptics who predicted an economic downturn and has restored America’s position in the world as a consistent source of economic growth.”

The U.S. economy has gotten off to a strong start so far in 2019. In January and February of 2019, the two months for which data is available, the U.S. trade deficit dropped well below expectations. This trend continued as exports alone drove nearly half a percentage point of overall GDP growth in the first quarter.

After starting off the year by adding over 300,000 jobs in January, the economy ended the first quarter at a 3.8 percent unemployment rate. In February, annual wage growth for hourly workers increased by 3.4 percent, the fastest rate since early 2009.

As they have since the start of his term in office, President Trump’s actions have yielded real results for American businesses, workers, and families, increasing incomes while cutting taxes and regulations.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross was present the Minority Business Development Agency 50th Anniversary Celebration

March 5th, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross was present and remarks at the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) 50th Anniversary Celebration in Washington.

Ross said, A lot of dedicated, passionate people have made it possible for the Minority Business Development Agency to achieve such a milestone. Congratulations! And thank you — to all the people who work in the small but mighty MBDA — for maintaining a five-decade tradition of excellence. Your service is needed now more than ever to assure the success and growth of minority-owned businesses throughout our nation.<

Ross said, The professional staff of MBDA have worked every day for 50 years with minority businesses throughout the country. When the agency was created, there were a scant 400,000 minority-owned businesses in the United States. Today, there are 11 million, up from four million in 2002.

When we look at minority employer firms, they generate $1.3 trillion in annual sales and have created more than 8.7 million jobs. That is a very big number, but with today’s fast-growing minority population, we need a lot more that we can grow to size and scale.

Since the agency’s inception, it is estimated that MBDA has worked with more than 13 million minority firms in the United States.  And, in just the last five fiscal years, MBDA helped facilitate almost $29 billion in contracts and financing to minority enterprises impacting 111,000 jobs.

One of the most promising avenues to individual prosperity and financial security is owning your own company. It is part of the American heritage and the American dream. And it is the reason so many aspiring people elsewhere in the world want to come to the United States: because it is relatively easy to start a business.

A great feature of the American society is we do not hold failure against anyone who tries. Every serial entrepreneur has had some failures, but they are outweighed by the subsequent successes. Most business start-ups consist of just one or two people initially, and they ramp up from there. With the advent of eCommerce and social media, it is easier than ever before for new companies to gain the attention of large numbers of customers.