Never Lower Than This

The gross domestic product for 2019 was just announced by the federal government. As a part of the GDP data, the government stated personal consumption expenditures overall and for each of a few hundred goods and services including electricity. Quite remarkably, electricity fell to an all-time low as a percentage of expenditures.

Electricity fell to 1.3 percent. In other words, last year, one out of every seventy-seven dollars of expenditures went to pay electric bills.

Since 1959, when this data was first reported by the government, electricity has never been as low as 1.3 percent of expenditures. In fact, before 2016, electricity had never fallen below 1.4 percent of expenditures.

And electricity had only fallen below 1.5 percent of expenditures (that is, one and a half percent) in 1959, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

In the year 2016 and since, consumers have enjoyed an unprecedented four years in a row in which electricity has been below 1.4 percent of expenditures. 1.39 percent in 2016. 1.33 percent in 2017. 1.35 percent in 2018. And now 1.3 percent in 2019.

Will 2020 be the first year in which electricity falls below 1.3 percent of personal consumption expenditures?