All Posts Tagged: consumers

U.S. Outlook: What’s behind the oil price plunge?

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Crude oil prices had been generally rising in 2018 before peaking at $76.24 on October 3.

Large, very clean refinery at dawn. No human activity is visible.Since then, there has been a sudden shift in underlying market dynamics. What’s behind the sharp change in trend?

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.

Read my full report.

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Warehouse automation: the best in trends and innovations

Andreas Bubenzer-Paim
Technology Banking

Warehouse automation is moving to the forefront of how we will buy goods and services in the future.

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U.S. Outlook: Fed gambles on inflation’s return

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Chart showing sales growth/loss by category, compared to a year ago.

Mixed messages continue to be thrown off by the U.S. economy.

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U.S. Outlook: September bounce intact

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing recent rise in monthly auto sales.

Coming off a weak August, the data we have received so far for September shows economic growth bounced back decisively last month.

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Fast money: Scammers target prepaid & gift cards

David Pollino
View over man

Scammers like gift cards because, unlike credit cards, payments can be hard to reverse, making the cards “cash-like.”

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