Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, Preliminary 4th Quarter & Full-Year 2022

Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, 2019-2022

  • Foreign direct investment in the United States (FDIUS) totaled $72 billion in the fourth-quarter 2022.
  • Net equity flows registered $20 billion of the fourth-quarter 2022.
  • Reinvestment of earnings, at $48 billion, accounted for two-thirds of FDIUS flows this past quarter.
  • Foreign direct investment in the United States in 2022 totaled $318 billion, making it the fifth-strongest year for FDIUS over the past decade. Two record-breaking years of FDIUS were recorded in 2015 and 2016, at $484 billion and $480 billion, respectively.
  • Quarterly FDIUS flows are subject to large revisions and can fluctuate greatly from quarter to quarter. While the United States remains an attractive investment location, global competition for foreign investment dollars is increasing as more developing countries position themselves as investment destinations.


Quarterly Foreign Direct Investment in the United States 2019 - 2022p

Annual Foreign Direct Investment in the United States 2012 - 2022

Analysis & Context

Fourth-quarter 2022 foreign direct investment flows in the United States totaled $72 billion, down 27 percent from third-quarter 2022. Reinvested earnings made up the largest portion of FDIUS at $48 billion, or 67 percent of total FDIUS.

Foreign direct investment in the United States was $318 billion in 2022. The 2022 FDIUS level was the fifth-strongest of the past decade, but was down 21 percent from 2021.

While the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has not yet released its worldwide FDI data for 2022, it noted several troubling trends, including negative or slow economic growth in many countries forecast for 2023 that likely will have a continued negative impact on foreign direct investment this year. 

Looking at foreign direct investment more broadly, international companies invest in the United States for many reasons. A list of positive factors includes the large U.S. market, world-class research universities, a stable regulatory regime, and a solid infrastructure that allows businesses to easily access the U.S. market. For certain international investors, the United States has become an important global export platform. Good domestic energy resources also draw international investors to the United States.

These investments benefit the American economy as international firms build new factories across the United States, buoy their well-established U.S. operations, fund American research and development activities, and employ 7.9 million Americans in well-paying jobs.  

UNCTAD reported that the United States remained the number one FDI location in 2021 (2022 data have not yet been released). Whether the United States will retain its status as the world’s most attractive investment location hinges on macroeconomic policy decisions, both in the United States and abroad.