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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: January 14, 2020  |  Next Release Date: February 11, 2020  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

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

EIA used the December 2019 version of the IHS Markit macroeconomic model with EIA's energy price forecasts as model inputs to develop the economic forecasts in STEO.

U.S. Macroeconomic Assumptions. Using the IHS Markit model, EIA forecasts U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 2.0% in 2020 and by 1.8% in 2021, compared with 2.3% in 2019. EIA forecasts that total industrial production will increase 0.3% in 2020 and 0.9% in 2021, compared with 0.8% growth in 2019. EIA forecasts nonfarm employment, which grew by 1.6% in 2019, to increase by 1.1% in 2020 and by 0.6% in 2021.

Using the IHS Markit model, EIA forecasts private real fixed investment will grow by 1.6% in 2020 and by 2.1% in 2021, compared with 1.4% in 2019. EIA forecasts real consumption expenditures, which grew by 2.6% in 2019, to grow by 2.7% in 2020 and by 2.2% in 2021.

Using the IHS Markit model, EIA forecasts U.S. exports will grow by 1.4% in 2020 and by 3.3% in 2021, compared with a decline of 0.3% in 2019. EIA forecasts imports to grow by 2.5% in 2020 and by 4.4% in 2021, compared with 1.3% growth in 2019.

Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions. After decreasing by 2.1% in 2019, EIA forecasts that energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will decrease by 2.0% in 2020 and decrease by 1.5% in 2021. EIA expects CO2 emissions attributable to natural gas alone, which rose by 4.2% in 2019, will rise 1.3% in 2020. However, EIA expects a 1.5% decline in natural gas CO2 in 2021. EIA expects coal-related CO2 will decline by 10.7% in 2020 after declining by 12.7% in 2019. EIA expects an additional decrease of 3.4% in coal-related CO2 in 2021. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth, energy prices, and fuel mix.

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 4.02.91.82.1
Manufacturing Production Index 2.7-0.00.50.7
Cooling Degree Days 10.9-5.4-6.20.0
Heating Degree Days 11.80.1-1.8-0.7
Number of Households 0.81.00.90.9
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2,3732,3542,3442,329
Natural Gas 1,6361,7041,7271,702
Coal 1,2601,100982949
Total Energya 5,2805,1695,0644,990

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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