Description of Securities Transactions Data

The data series are based on submissions of monthly TIC Form S, "Purchases and Sales of Long-Term Securities by Foreigners." These reports are mandatory and are filed by banks, securities dealers, investors, and other entities in the U.S. who deal directly with foreign residents in purchases and sales of long-term securities (equities and debt issues with an original maturity of more than one year) issued by U.S. or foreign-based firms. Typically, the data series are revised for up to 24 months after the initial "as of" reporting date. The data are released to the public with a lag of about 1� months.

The data reflect only those transactions between U.S. residents and counterparties located outside the United States. The data cover transactions in six classifications of securities: There are four domestic types of securities, which include U.S. Treasury bonds and notes, bonds of U.S. government corporations and federally-sponsored agencies, U.S. corporate and other bonds, and U.S. corporate and other stocks; and two foreign types of securities, namely foreign bonds and foreign stocks.

The securities data are collected and presented from the perspective of the foreign parties to the transactions. By definition, "gross purchases by foreigners" are gross sales by U.S. residents. Similarly, "gross sales by foreigners" are gross purchases by U.S. residents. As an example, to derive net foreign purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes vis-a-vis a particular country or geographical area, take the difference between the two columns labeled "gross purchases by foreigners of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes" and "gross sales by foreigners of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes." As another example, to derive net U.S. purchases of foreign equities, you would take the difference between "gross purchases by foreigners of foreign stocks" and "gross sales by foreigners of foreign stocks." In each example,  a positive difference indicates net foreign purchases from U.S. residents (U.S. capital inflow);  a negative difference indicates net foreign sales to U.S. residents (U.S. capital outflow).

Please note that the geographical breakdown of Form S securities transactions indicates country of location of the foreign buyers and sellers who deal DIRECTLY with entities resident in the U.S. (i.e., reporting institutions). The data do not necessarily indicate the country of beneficial owner or issuer, nor the currency of denomination of securities. For instance, a U.S. purchaser's order for Japanese securities may be placed directly with an intermediary in London. In this instance, the transaction for Form S reporting purposes would be recorded  opposite the U.K. and not opposite Japan. Similarly, purchases and sales of U.S. securities for the account of an Italian resident may be placed, for example, in the Swiss market. In such an arrangement, the trades would be reported  opposite Switzerland and not opposite Italy.

The data on U.S. securities transactions are available on this site as separate time series for each country line or geographical region as shown in Table CM-V-4 of the  Treasury Bulletin. The data for any single country can be downloaded in one of three ways: as part of the global file (data, by country, for all available countries); as part of one of four regional files (data, by country, for all countries in specified region); or individually.

In each data file, whether the global, a regional, or a country file, individual countries are identified by a distinct five-digit, numerical "country code" found in the first column of each file. The country code is also used in the filename for individual country files. (For example, the country code assigned to the United Kingdom is 13005; its individual filename is "s1-13005.txt".) The  country code reference file provides a cross reference of country lines and their corresponding codes. Data for countries that are not listed separately are incorporated under the "other" regional lines for the region in which the country belongs. For example, reportable transactions vis-a-vis Iceland, if any, would be included under "Other Europe," country code 18007.