Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Update: Energy expenditures as a percentage of consumer spending

by Bill McBride on 3/09/2016 04:11:00 PM

Here is a graph of expenditures on energy goods and services as a percent of total personal consumption expenditures through January 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 February 2016, WTI oil prices averaged close to $30 per barrel, down from $32 in January, so when PCE data for February is released on March 28th, we will probably see energy expenditures as a percent of PCE, were at all time lows.    However, the new lows will not last long since oil prices have increased in March.