U.S. Outlook: What’s behind the oil price plunge?
Crude oil prices had been generally rising in 2018 before peaking at $76.24 on October 3.
For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Nov. 30.Key observations:
- Overall, we believe the increase in oil supply rather than a decrease in oil demand is the primary driver of lower oil prices today.
- The sudden, sharp, and sustained decline in oil prices immediately reduced the inflation expectations of bond investors.
- Investors are now expecting lower consumer inflation over the next five years compared to early October, largely as a result of the dramatic plunge in oil and other commodities prices.
- Bank of the West Economics expects West Texas Intermediate Crude to average $62.50 per barrel in the fourth quarter, and average just $51.50 per barrel in 2019.