Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, Preliminary 3rd Quarter 2017

December 19, 2017

FDI Q3 2017

Third-quarter 2017 foreign direct investment flows in the United States were slightly below average for the past few years at $75 billion, following record-breaking years in 2015 and 2016. FDIUS for both years approached nearly half a trillion dollars. Investments by international companies in the United States beat the previous records of $320 billion and $318 billion during the prosperous years of 2000 and 2008.

It is unlikely that 2017 FDIUS flows will come close to approaching the nearly half-trillion dollars invested in 2015 and 2016 once data for the full year are made available. However, FDIUS for the first three quarters of 2017 have already totaled nearly $235 billion, which means inward investment this year is on track to surpass each of the six years prior to 2015.

These investments benefit the American economy as international firms build new factories across the United States, buoy their well established U.S. operations, fund American research and development activities, and employ more than 6.8 million Americans in well-paying jobs.

While inward foreign direct investment flows in 2016 were good for the United States, worldwide, global inward FDI dropped two percent to $1.75 trillion. In its 2017 World Investment Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected a ‘modest recovery’ in global FDI flows in 2017-2018.