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U.S. International Investment Position, Third Quarter 2020

Summary:
The U.S. net international investment position, the difference between U.S. residents' foreign financial assets and liabilities, was –.95 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2020, according to statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Assets totaled .41 trillion and liabilities were .36 trillion. At the end of the second quarter, the net investment position was –.08 trillion (Table 1). The –5.6 billion change in the net investment position from the second quarter to the third quarter came from net financial transactions of –9.9 billion and net other changes in position, such as price and exchange rate changes, of –5.7 billion (Table A). Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on Third Quarter 2020 International Investment Position In

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The U.S. net international investment position, the difference between U.S. residents' foreign financial assets and liabilities, was –$13.95 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2020, according to statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Assets totaled $29.41 trillion and liabilities were $43.36 trillion.

At the end of the second quarter, the net investment position was –$13.08 trillion (Table 1).

U.S. International Investment Position, Third Quarter 2020
U.S. International Investment Position, Third Quarter 2020

The –$865.6 billion change in the net investment position from the second quarter to the third quarter came from net financial transactions of –$219.9 billion and net other changes in position, such as price and exchange rate changes, of –$645.7 billion (Table A).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on Third Quarter 2020 International Investment Position

In the third quarter of 2020, U.S. assets and liabilities continued to increase, reflecting increases in portfolio investment and direct investment assets and liabilities. Most of the currency swaps between the U.S. Federal Reserve System and foreign central banks that remained at the end of the second quarter were ended in the third quarter, contributing to the continued U.S. withdrawal of deposit assets and the continued U.S. repayment of deposit and loan liabilities. These currency swaps were initiated in the first quarter to alleviate the dollar shortage overseas at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Separately, in the third quarter, a record level of net shipments of U.S. currency abroad to meet the demand for U.S. currency by foreign residents increased U.S. currency liabilities, partly offsetting the net repayment of U.S. deposit liabilities. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the IIP statistics because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified. For more information on the currency swaps, see the technical note that accompanied the December 18 international transactions accounts news release.

Table A. Quarterly Change in the U.S. Net International Investment Position
Billions of dollars, not seasonally adjusted

  Position,
2020 Q2
Change in position in 2020 Q3 Position,
2020 Q3
Total Attributable to:
Financial
transactions
Other changes
in position 1
U.S. net international investment position -13,084.6 -865.6 -219.9 -645.7 -13,950.2
   Net position excluding financial derivatives -13,106.8 -870.3 -243.9 -626.4 -13,977.1
   Financial derivatives other than reserves, net 22.2 4.7 24.0 -19.3 26.9
   U.S. assets 28,779.1 629.2 (2) (2) 29,408.3
      Assets excluding financial derivatives 26,028.3 834.8 -69.8 904.6 26,863.1
      Financial derivatives other than reserves 2,750.8 -205.6 (2) (2) 2,545.2
   U.S. liabilities 41,863.7 1,494.8 (2) (2) 43,358.5
      Liabilities excluding financial derivatives 39,135.1 1,705.1 174.1 1,531.0 40,840.3
      Financial derivatives other than reserves 2,728.6 -210.3 (2) (2) 2,518.2

1. Disaggregation of other changes in position into price changes, exchange rate changes, and other changes in volume and valuation is presented for annual statistics released in June each year.

2. Financial transactions and other changes in financial derivatives positions are available on a net basis; they are not separately available for U.S. assets and U.S. liabilities.

U.S. assets increased by $629.2 billion, to a total of $29.41 trillion at the end of the third quarter, reflecting increases in portfolio investment and direct investment assets that were partly offset by decreases in other investment assets and in financial derivatives. Portfolio investment assets increased by $684.7 billion, to $13.07 trillion, and direct investment assets increased by $370.8 billion, to $8.32 trillion, driven mainly by the appreciation of major foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar and by foreign stock price increases that raised the value of these assets.

U.S. liabilities increased by $1.49 trillion, to a total of $43.36 trillion at the end of the third quarter, reflecting increases in portfolio investment and direct investment liabilities that were partly offset by decreases in financial derivatives and in other investment liabilities. Portfolio investment liabilities increased by $967.8 billion, to $23.01 trillion, and direct investment liabilities increased by $762.3 billion, to $10.85 trillion, driven mainly by U.S. stock price increases that raised the value of these liabilities.

U.S. International Investment Position, Third Quarter 2020
U.S. International Investment Position, Third Quarter 2020

Updates to Second Quarter 2020 International Investment Position Aggregates
Trillions of dollars, not seasonally adjusted

  Preliminary estimate Revised estimate
U.S. net international investment position –13.05 –13.08
    U.S. assets 28.87 28.78
    U.S. liabilities 41.92 41.86

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Next release:  March 31, 2021, at 8:30 A.M. EDT
U.S. International Investment Position, Fourth Quarter and Year 2020

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U.S. International Investment Position Release Dates in 2021

Fourth Quarter and Year 2020 March 31
First Quarter 2021 and Annual Update June 30
Second Quarter 2021 September 28
Third Quarter 2021 December 30
Bureau of Economic Analysis
The BEA Advisory Committee advises the Director of BEA on matters related to the development and improvement of BEA’s national, regional, industry, and international economic accounts, especially in areas of new and rapidly growing economic activities arising from innovative and advancing technologies, and provides recommendations from the perspectives of the economics profession, business, and government.

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