Foreign direct investment in the United States to acquire existing companies or set up new companies jumped by 16.7% last year to an all-time high of $320.9 billion, the Commerce Department said.
The activity represented nearly a fivefold increase from the $69.7 billion in foreign investment that occurred in 1997. Since then, foreign investment has set record highs for three consecutive years, climbing to $215.3 billion in 1998 and $275 billion in 1999.
The biggest acquisition activity occurred in manufacturing, followed by the information sector, which includes publishing, movies and broadcast firms.
More than three-fourths of the foreign money came from Europe--a total of $244.7 billion, up 24.6% from 1999.