05/09/2013 08:40 EDT | Updated 07/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Canadian investment abroad rose 5.5 per cent last year: StatsCan

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says Canadian direct investment abroad increased 5.5 per cent in 2012, led by growth in investments in the United States.

The agency says the level of foreign direct investment in Canada grew at a similar rate of 5.8 per cent, mainly on higher investment from Europe and the United States.

Canadian direct investment abroad expanded by $37 billion to $711.6 billion in 2012, while at the same time foreign direct investment in Canada advanced $34.6 billion to $633.9 billion.

Canada's net direct investment asset position edged up to $77.7 billion in 2012.

The United States remained the top destination for Canadian direct investment in 2012, as the asset position in that country was up $15.3 billion to $289.4 billion at the end of the year.

Canadian firms also added $6.7 billion to their investment position in the United Kingdom, the second-largest destination for Canadian investment with a total position of $86.8 billion at the end of 2012.