Manufacturing Sector Leads Foreign Direct Investment in U.S., According to New Commerce Report

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis has released the 2016 figures in their data series on foreign direct investment in U.S. Businesses. This series allows businesses, researchers, and policy makers to gain insights into recent trends in foreign investment. Investments and the employment generated, are broken down by country of origin, industry type, and location of businesses in which the investments were made. The data are further broken down by whether the investment involves acquisition, establishment, or expansion of a business.

Insights from the data include:

  • Total first year investment in U.S. Businesses was $373 billion in 2016, 6 billion in 2015, and 260.6 billion in 2014.
  • In all three years, the leading type for foreign investment was U.S. manufacturing business. Within manufacturing most spending went to chemical manufacturing, including makers of pharmaceuticals and medicines as well as manufacturers of basic chemicals.
  • Companies from English speaking countries spend the most to purchase U.S. businesses with nearly half of all investment coming from Canada, the UK, and Ireland.
The BEA’s site has foreign direct investment information for the years 1980-2008 and 2014-2016. From 2009 to 2014 the series had been discontinued due to budget cuts.

To access the series, click here.