Sunday, May 01, 2016

Energy expenditures as a percentage of PCE hit another All Time Low in March

by Bill McBride on 5/01/2016 10:35:00 AM

Note: Last month I noted that energy expenditures as a percentage of PCE had hit an all time low. Here is an update through the March 2016 PCE report.

Below is a graph of expenditures on energy goods and services as a percent of total personal consumption expenditures through March 2016.

This is one of the measures that Professor Hamilton at Econbrowser looks at to evaluate any drag on GDP from energy prices.

Energy Expenditures as Percent of GDP
Click on graph for larger image.

Data source: BEA Table 2.3.5U.

The huge spikes in energy prices during the oil crisis of 1973 and 1979 are obvious. As is the increase in energy prices during the 2001 through 2008 period.

In March 2016, energy expenditures as a percentage of PCE declined to another all time low of just under 3.7%.

However, WTI oil prices increased from $30.32 per barrel in February to $37.55 in March - so energy as a percentage of PCE will probably increase a little over the next few months.