Preliminary data from the latest annual survey of foreign portfolio holdings of U.S. securities were released on February 28, 2019. The survey measured the value of foreign holdings of U.S. securities as of June 30, 2018, to be $19,434 billion, with $8,156 billion held in U.S. equities, $10,290 billion held in U.S. long-term debt securities [1] (of which $1,312 billion are holdings of asset-backed securities (ABS) [2] and $8,978 billion are holdings of non-ABS securities), and $987 billion held in U.S. short-term debt securities.  The previous survey, conducted as of June 30, 2017, measured the value of total foreign holdings of U.S. securities at $18,412 billion, with holdings of $7,189 billion in U.S. equities, $10,292 billion in U.S. long-term debt securities, and $930 billion in U.S. short-term debt securities. The Press Release is dated February 28, 2019.

[1] Long-term debt securities have an original term-to-maturity of over one year.

[2] Asset-backed securities are backed by pools of assets, such as pools of residential home mortgages or credit card receivables, which give the security owners claims against the cash flows generated by the underlying assets. Unlike most other debt securities, asset-backed securities generally repay both principal and interest on a regular basis, reducing the principal outstanding with each payment cycle.


Three data tables are presented at the following links. Each table presents holdings by country of foreign holder. The first table shows foreign holdings of U.S. securities split into holdings of equities, long-term debt, and short-term debt. The second table divides holdings of long-term debt securities by type of issuer as follows: U.S. Treasury, U.S. government agency asset-backed, U.S. government agency non-asset-backed, U.S. corporate and other asset-backed, and U.S. corporate and other non-asset-backed. The third table shows separately foreign holdings of short-term U.S. Treasury, U.S. government agencies, and corporate (and other) debt securities.


A final survey report, which will include additional detail as well as possible revisions to the preliminary data, will be reported on April 30, 2019. The survey was undertaken jointly by the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The three agencies wish to thank all of the institutions who participated in the survey, without whose efforts the survey would not have been possible. The next annual survey will cover portfolio holdings at the end of June 2019; preliminary data are expected to be released by February 28, 2020. Additional information on survey methodology and accuracy can be found in the article, Understanding U.S. Cross-Border Securities Data PDF icon(PDF), from the Federal Reserve Bulletin, 2006.


The subject surveys of foreign portfolio holdings of U.S. securities are conducted annually and measure foreign holdings as of end-June each year. Complementary surveys measuring U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities are also conducted annually as of end-December each year. Data from the most recent survey, reporting on securities held at year-end 2018, are currently being processed.  Preliminary results are expected to be reported by August 30, 2019. Questions about the surveys can be directed to Contact TIC (this link is found also in the gray bar near the top of any TIC webpage). Questions from the news media should be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of the Treasury at (202) 622-2960.


About TIC Data: It should be noted that 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.




Last Updated: February 28, 2019