Economics Weekly: Oil Prices and the Economy

Friday, February 19, 2021

The 26% price increase for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and 24% rise in Brent crude oil so far this year are unsurprisingly drawing greater attention from financial market participants. Not only are prices back up to where they were at the start of 2020—following that incredible WTI dip from $18 to -$38 per barrel in April—but there are a growing number of analysts calling for it to continue to steadily rise in the coming years. Back in 2014-2016, when oil prices collapsed from $107 to just $26 per barrel, it was expected to result in a major boon to consumers; in reality, the aggregate economy just managed to skirt a recession.

In this Economics Weekly, we discuss the cause of today’s rising prices and their potential impact on both consumers and business investment.

For a copy of this report or to subscribe to the Economics Weekly or Economic Indicators reports, please contact your William Blair representative.

Richard de Chazal, CFA is a London-based macroeconomist covering the U.S. economy and financial markets.

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