U.S. Energy Spending Declines in 2016

In 2016, U.S. energy expenditures fell for the fifth straight year to $1 trillion, a 9 percent decline in real terms compared with 2015. Adjusted for inflation, energy expenditures in 2016 were at their lowest rate since 2003. And measured as a percentage of gross domestic product, they stood at 5.6 percent in 2016, their lowest since 1970.

U.S. GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in the United States including energy. In 2016, total GDP was $18.6 trillion, which was 1.5 percent higher than 2015 levels.

“U.S. GDP has grown every year since 2010, and U.S. total energy expenditures, which is the amount of money spent to consume energy in the United States, has decreased each year since 2011, leading to the record-low energy expenditure share,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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Total energy consumption has remained virtually unchanged since 2013, so the decline in U.S. energy spending in 2016 was entirely attributable to lower energy prices, the EIA said.

However, based on prices in 2017 and some months in 2018, the EIA doesn’t expect the downward price trend to continue.