Monday, April 30, 2018

Energy expenditures as a percentage of PCE

by Bill McBride on 4/30/2018 02:09:00 PM

Note: Back in early 2016, I noted that energy expenditures as a percentage of PCE had hit an all time low. Here is an update through the March 2018 PCE report released this morning.

Below is a graph of expenditures on energy goods and services as a percent of total personal consumption expenditures through March 2018.

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 2018, energy expenditures as a percentage of PCE increased to 4.05% of PCE, up from the all time low two years ago of 3.6%.

Historically this is still a low percentage of PCE for energy expenditures, even though oil prices are up sharply over the last two years (WTI was at $37.55 per barrel in March 2016 and has risen to almost $69 per barrel today).