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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: September 9, 2020  |  Next Release Date: October 6, 2020  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

U.S. Economic Assumptions and Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions

  • The STEO is based on macroeconomic forecasts by IHS Markit (for the United States). EIA used the August 2020 version of the IHS Markit macroeconomic model with EIA's energy price forecasts as model inputs to develop the economic forecasts in STEO.
  • Using the IHS Markit model, EIA assumes U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) will decline by 4.8% in 2020 and grow by 3.1% in 2021, compared with 2.2% growth in 2019. EIA assumes that total industrial production will decrease 8.7% in 2020 and increase 1.7% in 2021, compared with 0.9% growth in 2019. In the forecast, nonfarm employment, which grew by 1.4% in 2019, decreases by 5.5% in 2020 and will increase by 2.4% in 2021.
  • EIA forecasts that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, after decreasing by 2.8% in 2019, will decrease by 10.0% (512 million metric tons) in 2020 with reduced consumption of all fossil fuels, particularly coal (18.3%) and petroleum (11.7%). This decline in emissions is the result of less energy consumption related to restrictions on business and travel activity and slowing economic growth related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. In 2021, EIA forecasts that energy-related CO2 emissions will increase by 4.8% as the economy recovers and energy use increases.

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth

Macroeconomics & CO2 Emissions Summary
  2018201920202021
aIncludes electric power sector use of geothermal energy and non-biomass waste
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 3.62.27.5-6.3
Manufacturing Production Index 2.70.0-8.22.5
Cooling Degree Days 11.0-5.3-0.3-5.1
Heating Degree Days 11.80.6-7.03.8
Number of Households 0.81.00.40.8
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2,3742,3542,0802,263
Natural Gas 1,6361,6891,6481,574
Coal 1,2601,076879993
Total Energya 5,2815,1304,6184,841

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Related Figures
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth XLSX PNG
U.S. annual energy expenditures share of gross domestic product XLSX PNG