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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: April 6, 2021  |  Forecast Completed: April 1, 2021  |  Next Release Date: May 11, 2021  |  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 March 2021 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 grow by 5.6% in 2021 and grow by 4.2% in 2022, compared with a decline of 3.5% in 2020. EIA assumes that total industrial production will increase 7.2% in 2021 and increase 4.6% in 2022, compared with a 6.7% decline in 2020. In the forecast, nonfarm employment, which declined by 5.7% in 2020, increases by 2.4% in 2021 and will increase by 3.4% in 2022.
  • EIA estimates that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decreased by 11% in 2020. This decline in emissions was the result of less energy consumption related to the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, we forecast energy-related CO2 emissions will increase by about 5% from the 2020 level as economic activity increases and leads to rising energy use. We also expect energy-related CO2 emissions to rise in 2022, but by a slower rate of 2%. We forecast that after declining by 19% in 2020, coal-related CO2 emissions will rise by 13% in 2021 and by 4% in 2022.

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth

Macroeconomics & CO2 Emissions Summary
  2019202020212022
aIncludes electric power sector use of geothermal energy and non-biomass waste
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 2.25.83.4-2.4
Manufacturing Production Index 0.0-6.48.64.3
Cooling Degree Days -5.21.6-5.6-1.0
Heating Degree Days 0.6-9.45.50.5
Number of Households 0.80.01.41.1
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2,3652,0332,1802,279
Natural Gas 1,6861,6511,6411,624
Coal 1,0768769881,024
Total Energya 5,1384,5714,8204,938

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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