WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today released Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for December 2016. The next release, which will report on data for January 2017, is scheduled for March 15, 2017.
The sum total in December of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a monthly net TIC outflow of $42.8 billion. Of this, net foreign private outflows were $57.1 billion, and net foreign official inflows were $14.3 billion.
Foreign residents decreased their holdings of long-term U.S. securities in December; net sales were $13.9 billion. Net sales by private foreign investors were $32.0 billion, while net purchases by foreign official institutions were $18.1 billion.
U.S. residents decreased their holdings of long-term foreign securities, with net sales of $1.1 billion.
Taking into account transactions in both foreign and U.S. securities, net foreign sales of long-term securities were $12.9 billion. After including adjustments, such as estimates of unrecorded principal payments to foreigners on U.S. asset-backed securities, overall net foreign sales of long-term securities are estimated to have been $29.4 billion in December.
Foreign residents increased their holdings of U.S. Treasury bills by $11.1 billion. Foreign resident holdings of all dollar-denominated short-term U.S. securities and other custody liabilities increased by $33.5 billion.
Banks' own net dollar-denominated liabilities to foreign residents decreased by $46.8 billion.
About TIC Data
The monthly data on holdings of long-term securities, as well as the monthly table on Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities, reflect foreign holdings of U.S. securities collected primarily on the basis of custodial data. These data help provide a window into foreign ownership of U.S. securities, but they cannot attribute holdings of U.S. securities with complete accuracy. For example, if a U.S. Treasury security purchased by a foreign resident is held in a custodial account in a third country, the true ownership of the security will not be reflected in the data. The custodial data will also not properly attribute U.S. Treasury securities managed by foreign private portfolio managers who invest on behalf of residents of other countries. In addition, foreign countries may hold dollars and other U.S. assets that are not captured in the TIC data. For these reasons, it is difficult to draw precise conclusions from TIC data about changes in the foreign holdings of U.S. financial assets by individual countries.