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May 23, 2019

FDI in U.S. Rises 68 Percent in 2015: Commerce Department

Foreign Direct Investment rose 68 percent to $420.7 billion in 2015, the highest since the Commerce Department began tracking the statistics more than three decades ago, according to a latest report.

FDI in 2015 is up from $250.6 billion made in 2014. As in 2014, the bulk of the investment was made in acquiring existing businesses. In 2015, expenditures for acquisitions were $408.1 billion. Expenditures to establish new U.S. businesses were $11.2 billion, and expenditures to expand existing foreign-owned businesses were $1.4 billion.

Planned total expenditures, which include both actual and planned future expenditures, totaled $439.2 billion, according to the report. New investment expenditures include expenditures incurred by foreign direct investors and by existing U.S. affiliates of foreign direct investors.

The new investment data exclude disinvestment flows and other transactions between foreign direct investors and their U.S. affiliates that do not contribute to the acquisition, establishment, or expansion of a U.S. business.

The biggest chuck of FDI expenditure – $281.4 billion, was made in the manufacturing sector, accounting for more than half of the total investment.  Within manufacturing, expenditures were largest in chemicals, mostly in pharmaceuticals and medicines. There were also large expenditures in finance and insurance, in real estate and rental and leasing, and in professional, scientific, and technical services.

By country of ultimate beneficial owner (UBO), the largest source country was Ireland, at $176.5 billion. There were also substantial expenditures from Canada and Germany.

Of the eight largest countries in terms of foreign direct investment position in the United States—United Kingdom, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and France—six are also among the top eight countries for new foreign direct investment.

By U.S. state, the largest expenditures, $119.0 billion, or 28 percent of the total, were for investments in California.

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