Tag Archive for 'economy'

Wells Fargo Economics Group Reports on How Much of America Foreigners Own

Wells_Fargo_Securities_logoHow Much of America Do Foreigners Own?

Executive Summary

Recently released data show that the value of foreign holdings of U.S. assets rose to $32.5 trillion at the end of Q2-2016 with stocks and bonds accounting for more than one-half of these holdings. Outside of the U.S. government bond market, where foreigners own roughly one-half of the publicly traded debt, foreign ownership of American securities is much less pervasive. About 20 percent of American securities are owned by foreigners. In other words, domestic residents own the vast majority of U.S. stocks and bonds.

In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), foreigners own about one-third of the fixed assets in the manufacturing sector. But, direct foreign ownership in other sectors of the U.S. economy is not as widespread. In sum, foreign holdings of U.S. assets are sizable, but perceptions that America is owned by foreigners are simply not supported by the data.

Conclusion

The value of American assets held by foreigners has mushroomed over the past few decades and currently stands near $33 trillion with stocks and bonds accounting for more than one-half of these holdings. Foreigners own sizable amounts of U.S. Treasury securities, but holdings are widespread across individual countries. Although China is the largest individual foreign owner of U.S. Treasury securities, its holdings account for only 10 percent of the U.S. government bond market. Foreign holdings of other types of American securities account for much smaller proportions of the markets for those individual securities.

In terms of FDI, foreigners own about one-third of the fixed assets in the manufacturing sector. But, direct foreign ownership in other sectors of the economy is much less pervasive. In sum, foreign holdings of U.S. assets are sizable, but perceptions that America is owned by foreigners are simply not supported by the data.

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Tom Ewing’s Environmental Report

* I’ll be attending the Lake Erie “Project Icebreaker” meeting this week in Lakewood, OH. This is a unique project, for a number of reasons. It’s a pilot wind energy project backed by US DOE, now seeking funding for design, permits, construction and decommissioning. PI is the result of at least five years of work by the Lake Erie Energy Development Company, which includes the City of Cleveland, business groups and public sector partners in Pennsylvania. The meeting gives the public a chance to comment on the the scope of a required Environmental Assessment. The Corp of Engineers and the Coast Guard are DOE partners. (Send a text if you want to meet afterwards and track down Cleveland’s finest: a Great Lakes Brewing Co. Burning River Pale Ale. First round’s on me…)

* Ever heard of NACEPT? The National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology? It was established by EPA in 1988 “to provide independent advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental policy, technology and management issues.” The Council has scheduled an October 17 teleconference to discuss a draft report regarding actions that EPA should take in response to technological and sociological developments in the area of citizen science. WHAT? Citizen science… I’m trying to find out… Unfortunately the citizen science draft for 10/17 is not yet ready for review. Advise if you want an update.

* EPA opened a new initiative last week called “The National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at U.S. Ports.” This is an effort to reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions from diesel-powered ships, trucks and other port equipment at all port types and sizes through a variety of strategies and cleaner technologies. EPA writes that “this is great news for the roughly 39 million Americans who live and breathe near these centers of commerce.” (Hopefully it’s just as great for the peeps who still have jobs there *:)) laughing!) I’m not sure if this is linked to the citizen scientists mentioned above but in an older document (Nov., 2015, not that old) titled “Environmental Justice Research Roadmap” citizen science is repeatedly referenced as a tool helpful for regulators seeking to address air quality problems at ports. Citizen science…hmmmm… gotta think about that…

 

Tom Ewing
tfewing1@yahoo.com
513-379-5526 voice/text

Making the Grade: The Benefits of 2-D Machine Guidance and Control Systems

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Lane Construction: Building Diverging Diamond Interchanges to Improve Traffic Flow

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ABC Reports: Construction Employment Falters in August

ABC The U.S. construction industry lost 6,000 net jobs in August according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). BLS also downwardly revised July’s estimate from 14,000 net new jobs to 11,000 net new jobs meaning that the construction industry has lost 25,000 net jobs since April after adding 68,000 through the first three months of 2016.

The nonresidential sector lost 10,700 net jobs in August after adding 9,600 jobs in July (revised down from 11,500). Employment in the heavy and civil engineering sector fell for the fourth time in five months, declining by 6,500 jobs on net, an indication of still weak infrastructure investment. The construction industry’s unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent in August, but is still 3.4 percentage points lower than it was at the beginning of 2016.

“Today’s downbeat employment data came less than twenty-four hours after yesterday’s relatively upbeat nonresidential construction spending report,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “This pattern of good news followed by bad news is nothing new and continues to paint a confusing picture for nonresidential construction activity in the U.S.

“Most contractors continue to report decent backlog and although profitability remains a challenge, margins are thicker than they were several years ago,” said Basu. “Construction firms continue to complain about a lack of appropriately trained workers and construction wage costs are rising. These are all signs of an industry that remains busy.

“However, the data are also consistent with the notion that the pace of expansion in nonresidential construction activity has slowed,” warned Basu. “Nonresidential construction spending has expanded by less than 2 percent over the past year. The biggest culprit continues to be a lack of public sector capital spending on infrastructure, whether in the form of roads or water systems. Survey data regarding commercial real estate lending standards indicate that lending standards are beginning to tighten. While spending in office, lodging, and commercial categories has expanded significantly over the past year, the pace of growth is beginning to be constrained by a combination of regulatory pressures and growing concerns regarding overbuilding in certain key communities and product segments.

“The other consideration is that job growth remains rapid in a number of other key economic segments, including in e-commerce/distribution, retail, and a host of services,” said Basu. “This may be tempting some construction workers away from the industry, helping to explain continued low industry unemployment despite the job losses experienced in recent months.”

The national unemployment rate remained unchanged for a third consecutive month and stands at 4.9 percent. The labor force expanded by 176,000 persons in August and has grown by roughly one million persons over the past three months. Labor force participation stands at 62.8 percent.

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