U.S. Outward FDI: Current Flows Lowered in Weakened Global Economy but Attraction of Emerging Markets Remains
Karl P. Sauvant, Executive Director, Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International
United States (U.S.) outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) was $65 billion during the third quarter of 2009. The average flow during the seven quarters of the current recession (Q1:2008 to Q3:2009) decreased 17 percent, compared with the last seven quarters of the expansion that preceded it (Q2:2006 to Q4:2007). The pronounced decline in U.S. OFDI parallels the broader falloff in business investment worldwide in the current economic recession. Despite the slowdown in U.S. OFDI flows, they remained over 25 percent higher than the average for the preceding five years, which is partly attributable to the continuing attraction of big emerging markets.