U.S. Energy Information Administration logo
Skip to sub-navigation
‹ Analysis & Projections

Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: Oct. 13, 2021  |  Forecast Completed: Oct. 7, 2021  |  Next Release Date: Nov. 9, 2021  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

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

  • U.S. economic activity continues to rise after reaching multiyear lows in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20). U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 3.4% in 2020 from 2019 levels. This STEO assumes U.S. GDP will grow by 5.7% in 2021 and by 4.5% in 2022. The U.S. macroeconomic assumptions in this outlook are based on forecasts by IHS Markit.
  • We estimate that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decreased by 11% in 2020 as a result of less energy consumption related to reduced economic activity and responses to COVID-19. For 2021, we forecast energy-related CO2 emissions will increase about 8% from the 2020 level as economic activity increases and leads to rising energy use. We expect almost no change in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2022. We forecast that after declining by 19% in 2020, coal-related CO2 emissions will rise by 20% in 2021 and then fall by 5% in 2022. Short-term changes in energy-related CO2 can be affected by temperature. A recent STEO supplement examines these dynamics.

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 2.36.21.4-2.7
Manufacturing Production Index -1.9-6.46.85.4
Cooling Degree Days -5.31.3-3.3-5.5
Heating Degree Days 0.6-9.36.30.1
Number of Households 0.80.40.81.3
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel (million metric tons)
Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels 2,3722,0422,2232,296
Natural Gas 1,6811,6471,6361,631
Coal 1,0788751,051993
Total Energya 5,1414,5754,9214,931

Interactive Data Viewers

Provides custom data views of historical and forecast data

STEO Data browser ›
Real Prices Viewer ›

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