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U.S. International Transactions, 1st quarter 2012

News Release: U.S. International Transactions
NOTE: See the navigation bar at the right side of the news release text for links to data tables,
contact personnel and their telephone numbers, and supplementary materials.

FOR WIRE TRANSMISSION: 8:30 A.M. EDT, THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012BEA 12-25

Sarah P. Scott: (202) 606-9286 (Data)
Paul W. Farello: (202) 606-9561 (Revisions)
U.S. International Transactions: First Quarter 2012

Current Account

The U.S. current-account deficit—the combined balances on trade in goods and services,
income, and net unilateral current transfers—increased to $137.3 billion (preliminary) in the
first quarter, from $118.7 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter. Most of the increase in
the current-account deficit was accounted for by a decrease in the surplus on income and an
increase in the deficit on goods and services.

Goods and services

The deficit on goods and services increased to $151.0 billion in the first quarter from
$146.3 billion in the fourth.

Goods

The deficit on goods increased to $194.5 billion in the first quarter from $189.3 billion
in the fourth.

Goods exports increased to $388.5 billion from $382.2 billion. Exports of four of the
six major end-use categories increased. The increase was more than accounted for by increases
in capital goods exports and in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines. The increase in capital
goods resulted from increases in civilian aircraft, engines, and parts, in computers, peripherals,
and parts, and in other industrial, agricultural, and service industry machinery. The increase
in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines exports was largely due to increases in passenger
cars and in trucks, buses, and special purpose vehicles. Changes in the other major categories
were relatively small (Table 2a).

Goods imports increased to $583.0 billion from $571.4 billion. Imports of four of the six
major end-use categories increased. The increase resulted from increases in imports of automotive
vehicles, parts, and engines, of capital goods, and of industrial supplies and materials. The
increase in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines was due, in part, to an increase in passenger
cars from countries other than Canada. The increase in capital goods was more than accounted for
by an increase in machinery and equipment, and the increase in industrial supplies and materials
reflected an increase in petroleum and products. Consumer goods imports decreased; the largest
decrease was in durable goods (Table 2a).

Services

The surplus on services increased to $43.5 billion in the first quarter from $43.0 billion
in the fourth.

Services receipts increased to $154.4 billion from $151.0 billion. Six of the seven major
services categories increased; the largest increases were in travel and in other private services,
which includes items such as financial services, insurance services, and business, professional,
and technical services.

Services payments increased to $111.0 billion from $108.1 billion. The increase mainly
reflected increases in travel and in passenger fares.

Income

The surplus on income decreased to $47.6 billion in the first quarter from $59.9 billion
in the fourth.

Investment income

Income receipts on U.S.-owned assets abroad decreased to $181.0 billion from $185.4 billion.
The decrease was more than accounted for by a decrease in direct investment receipts.

Income payments on foreign-owned assets in the United States increased to $131.6 billion
from $123.6 billion. The increase was largely due to an increase in direct investment payments.
Other private payments, which consists of interest and dividends, also increased.

Compensation of employees

Receipts for compensation of U.S. residents paid by nonresidents remained at $1.5 billion
in the first quarter. Payments for compensation of foreign residents paid by U.S. residents
remained at $3.4 billion.

Unilateral current transfers

Net unilateral current transfers to foreigners were $33.9 billion in the first quarter,
up from $32.2 billion in the fourth. The increase mostly reflected an increase in private
remittances and other transfers; U.S. government grants and U.S. government pensions and other
transfers also increased.

Capital Account

Net capital account transactions were not available for the first quarter because source
data are not yet available. Net payments were $0.1 billion in the fourth quarter.

Financial Account

Net financial inflows were $156.7 billion in the first quarter, up from $63.4 billion in
the fourth. U.S.-owned assets abroad decreased in the first quarter after increasing in the
fourth, and foreign-owned assets in the United States increased slightly less in the first
quarter than in the fourth.

U.S.-owned assets abroad

U.S.-owned assets abroad decreased $114.8 billion in the first quarter, following an
increase of $26.2 billion in the fourth.

U.S. claims on foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers decreased $220.3
billion in the first quarter, after a decrease of $86.4 billion in the fourth. Examples of these
claims are U.S. banks’ deposits at foreign banks and U.S. banks’ loans to foreigners. The change
from the fourth quarter reflects a $129.3 billion decrease in claims for own accounts (Table 10a).

U.S. sales of foreign securities exceeded purchases by $3.6 billion in the first quarter,
down from a difference of $36.0 billion in the fourth. Net purchases of foreign stocks were
$14.9 billion, shifting from net sales of $8.6 billion. Net sales of foreign bonds were $18.5
billion, down from $27.4 billion (Table 8a).

U.S. direct investment abroad was $110.9 billion in the first quarter, down slightly from
$111.2 billion in the fourth. The small decrease was the result of both lower equity investment
and reinvested earnings that were almost completely offset by increased outflows of intercompany
debt investment (Table 7a).

U.S. claims on unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns increased
$49.6 billion in the first quarter after a decrease of $65.1 billion in the fourth.

U.S. official reserve assets increased $1.2 billion in the first quarter, following an
increase of $1.9 billion in the fourth. The first quarter increase reflected a smaller increase
in the U.S. reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) associated with U.S.
loans to the IMF under New Arrangements to Borrow.

U.S. government assets other than official reserve assets decreased $52.7 billion in the
first quarter, after an increase of $100.6 billion in the fourth. Both the first-quarter decrease
and the fourth-quarter increase resulted mostly from central bank liquidity swaps between the
U.S. Federal Reserve System and foreign central banks.

Foreign-owned assets in the United States

Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $41.9 billion in the first quarter,
following an increase of $57.1 billion in the fourth.

U.S. liabilities to foreigners reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers, other than
foreign official assets, decreased $126.8 billion in the first quarter, after a decrease of
$42.3 billion in the fourth. Examples of these liabilities are deposits of foreign residents
at banks in the United States and loans by banks abroad to banks in the United States. The
change from the fourth quarter resulted from a $120.1 billion increase in liabilities for own
accounts (Table 11a).

Foreign private purchases of U.S. Treasury securities exceeded sales by $34.0 billion in
the first quarter, slowing from net purchases of $82.5 billion in the fourth (Table 8a).

Foreign private purchases of U.S. securities other than U.S. Treasury securities exceeded
sales by $3.2 billion in the first quarter. In the fourth quarter, foreign net sales were
$35.3 billion. Net purchases of U.S. stocks were $18.7 billion, shifting from net sales of
$17.1 billion. Net sales of U.S. corporate bonds decreased to $15.1 billion from $31.3 billion.
Net sales of U.S. federally sponsored agency bonds were $0.4 billion in the first quarter,
shifting from net purchases of $13.1 billion in the fourth (Table 8a).

Foreign direct investment in the United States was $28.7 billion in the first quarter,
down from $76.1 billion in the fourth. The decrease was accounted for by lower equity investment
and a shift from inflows to outflows of intercompany debt investment; these decreases were partly
offset by an increase in reinvested earnings (Table 7a).

U.S. liabilities to unaffiliated foreigners reported by U.S. nonbanking concerns increased
$17.2 billion in the first quarter, following a decrease of $40.0 billion in the fourth.

Foreign official assets in the United States increased $67.6 billion in the first quarter,
shifting from a decrease of $2.9 billion in the fourth. Most of the shift was due to net purchases
of U.S. Treasury securities that more than offset a decrease in U.S. liabilities reported by U.S.
banks and securities brokers (Table 5).

Net shipments of U.S. currency to foreign countries were $18.1 billion in the first quarter,
down from $18.8 billion in the fourth.

The statistical discrepancy—net errors and omissions in recorded transactions—was -$19.4
billion in the first quarter compared with $55.3 billion in the fourth.

In the first quarter, the U.S. dollar appreciated 0.7 percent on a trade-weighted quarterly
average basis against a group of 7 major currencies. Data are based on Federal Reserve Statistical
Release H.10.

Revisions

Statistics from the U.S. international transactions accounts have been revised to incorporate
newly available and revised source data, updated seasonal adjustments, and improved estimating
methodologies. Key changes introduced in this annual revision are summarized below.

* Exports and imports of goods on a balance of payments basis are revised for 2009-2011 to
introduce new balance of payments adjustments to revalue exports and imports of some
electronic media to reflect the value of stored content, as well as to incorporate revised
source data on other adjustments. Balance of payments adjustments refer to adjustments
that BEA applies to goods on a Census basis to align the data with the concepts and definitions
used to prepare the international and national economic accounts. Revisions to goods exports
and imports for 2011 also reflect revised Census Bureau data on goods on a Census basis.

* Services receipts and income payments are revised for 2009-2011 to implement an improved
method for measuring the compensation and U.S. expenditures of foreign professionals who
work in the United States for less than one year. Services payments are revised for 2009-2011
to implement an improved method for measuring imports of computer services from affiliated
Canadian parties. Services receipts and payments are also revised for 2009-2011 to incorporate
newly available and revised data from BEA’s quarterly surveys of international services
transactions.

* Unilateral current transfers are revised for 2009-2011 to implement an improved method for
measuring personal transfers.

* For foreign securities (foreign stocks and bonds), financial flows are revised for 2009-2011
to incorporate newly available and revised data from the Treasury International Capital
reporting system. Related interest and dividend receipts are revised for 2009-2011 to
incorporate results of the U.S. Treasury Department’s annual survey of securities claims
for December 2010 and other revised source data.

* For U.S. securities (U.S. corporate stocks and bonds, U.S. Treasury bonds, and U.S. agency
bonds), financial flows and related interest and dividend payments are revised for 2009-2011
to incorporate results of the U.S. Treasury Department’s annual survey of securities
liabilities for June 2011 (see FAQ) and other revised source data.

* For direct investment, financial flows and related income receipts and payments are revised
for 2009-2011 to incorporate newly available and revised data from BEA’s quarterly and
annual surveys of direct investment.

In addition to the revisions to the historical data, the fourth-quarter 2011 international
transactions are revised from previously published statistics. The current-account deficit was
revised down to $118.7 billion from $124.1 billion. The goods deficit was revised up to $189.3
billion from $186.3 billion; the services surplus was revised down to $43.0 billion from $45.3
billion; the income surplus was revised up to $59.9 billion from $50.3 billion; and net outflows
of unilateral current transfers were revised to $32.2 billion from $33.3 billion. Net financial
inflows were revised to $63.4 billion from $48.6 billion.

The U.S. net international investment position preliminary statistics for 2011 and revised
statistics for earlier years will be released on June 26.

Additional information on the revisions to the U.S. international transactions accounts and the
U.S. international investment position will be provided in the July issue of the SURVEY OF CURRENT
BUSINESS, which will be released in mid-July.

* * *

Release dates in 2012:

Fourth quarter and year 2011………………………………March 14, 2012 (Wednesday)
First quarter 2012…………………………………………June 14, 2012 (Thursday)
Second quarter 2012…………………………………….September 18, 2012 (Tuesday)
Third quarter 2012………………………………………December 18, 2012 (Tuesday)

* * *

BEA’s national, international, regional, and industry statistics; the SURVEY OF CURRENT
BUSINESS; and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA’s Web site at (www.bea.gov).
By visiting the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases
and announcements.
________________

The statistics of the U.S. international transactions accounts released today have been revised
for the first quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2011. The revisions reflect newly available
and revised source data, updated seasonal adjustments, and improved estimating methodologies.
The revisions to the current account balance mostly reflect newly available and revised data from
BEA’s surveys of direct investment and international services transactions. The revisions to net
financial flows mostly reflect newly available information from the Annual Survey of Foreign
Portfolio Holdings of U.S. Securities at end-June 2011 conducted by the Federal Reserve Board
and U.S. Treasury Department. (See the section on “Revisions” in this release.)

The July SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS will contain tables and an article describing revisions to
the international transactions accounts. On June 26, BEA will release preliminary statistics for
the U.S. international investment position for 2011 and revised statistics for 2009-2010. The
release will also include a discussion of revisions to those accounts. A more detailed discussion
of the U.S. international investment position and the revisions of those accounts will appear
in an article in the July SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS.

NOTE: This news release is available on BEA’s Web site along with Highlights related to this release,
the latest detailed statistics for U.S. international transactions, and a description of the
estimation methods used to compile them. The first quarter statistics in this release are preliminary
and will be revised on September 18, 2012. All links in the text of this release—including archived
versions of this release—refer to the latest available
revised statistics.

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