Thursday, June 11, 2009

Price of Oil - Where are Oil Prices Headed?

One of the driving forces behind any economy are it's energy prices. Pretty much every business around the globe is affected directly or indirectly by the price of oil. This is why the huge fluctuations in Oil prices we have seen over the last 2-3 years are quite turbulent for the economy in general. In the last 3 months alone we have seen the price per barrel of oil rise by about 80%. That's almost a 1% gain per day over the last 3 months. This is after we saw Oil prices fall from $150 a barrel all the way down to $35. Take a look at the chart below to see how much prices have increased since the bottom of the recession.

Will Oil Prices Hurt Our Recovery?
This is a tough question to answer. As long as prices don't come close to the highs of last year I don't personally see it being a major dagger in the heart of the recovery. We are in the Summer months, and some price increases were all but guaranteed. We are still at about half of the highs that we saw last year, so we should be thankful of that.

Where are Oil Prices Headed?
You could ask a hundred experts this question and get a hundred different answers. In my opinion, It would surprise me if we saw prices go above $100 a barrel within the next year. The world economies are still fragile, and demand is not as high as they were before the recession, nor will it be for quite some time. As long as OPEC does not cut production any further I think prices should level off in the $60-$80 range for the next 12-18 months at least.

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