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Short-Term Energy and Summer Fuels Outlook

Release Date: April 7, 2015  |  Next Release Date: May 12, 2015  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

U.S. Economic Assumptions

Recent Economic Indicators

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014, the same as the previous estimate. With the latest estimate for the fourth quarter, private inventory investment increased less than previously estimated, while consumption increased more than previously estimated.

EIA used the March 2015 version of the IHS macroeconomic model with EIA's energy price forecasts as model inputs to develop the economic projections in the STEO.

Production and Income, and Employment

Forecast real GDP growth reaches 2.7% in 2015 and declines to 2.3% in 2016. Growth is expected to be higher in 2015 because of greater business investment spending and increases in consumer purchases. However, a stronger dollar and lower demand from slower-growing economies are expected to reduce export growth and raise import growth. Real disposable income grows by 3.1% in 2015, below the 3.2% forecast last month, and by 2.2% in 2016. Total industrial production grows at 2.1% in 2015 and 2.8% in 2016. Projected growth in nonfarm employment averages 2.2% in 2015 and 1.5% in 2016.

Expenditures

Forecast private real fixed investment growth averages 5.2% and 6.7% in 2015 and 2016, respectively, led by equipment in 2015 and by residential investment in 2016. Real consumption expenditures grow faster than real GDP in 2015 and 2016, at 3.2% and 2.6%, respectively. Durable goods expenditures drive consumption spending in both years. Export growth is 2.2% and 3.2% over the same two years, while import growth is 4.4% in 2015 and 5.8% in 2016. Total government expenditures rise 0.9% in 2015 and 0.5% in 2016.

U.S. Economic Assumptions
  2013 2014 2015 2016
Economic Output, Income, and Expenditures (billion chained 2009 dollars)
Real Gross Domestic Product 15710 16085 16528 16913
percent change from prior year 2.2 2.4 2.7 2.3
Real Disposable Personal Income 11651 11940 12315 12586
percent change from prior year -0.2 2.5 3.1 2.2
Real Personal Consumption Expenditures 10700 10967 11323 11616
Real Fixed Investment 2479 2612 2748 2932
Business Inventory Change 74.05 84.35 69.74 47.75
Employment (millions)
Non-Farm Employment 136.4 139.0 142.1 144.3
Commercial Employment 93.8 95.8 98.3 99.9
Production and Price Indexes
Manufacturing Production Index (2007=100) 97.9 101.6 104.5 107.5
percent change from prior year 2.9 3.8 2.9 2.8
Consumer Price Index (1982-1984=1.00) 2.33 2.37 2.37 2.43
Producer Price Index: All Commodities (1982=1.00) 2.03 2.05 1.96 2.02
Producer Price Index: Petroleum (1982=1.00) 2.95 2.78 1.86 2.21
GDP Implicit Price Deflator (2005=100) 106.7 108.3 109.9 112.0

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