Monday, September 12, 2016

WTI Oil Prices Mostly Unchanged Year-over-year, Little Drag on Inflation

by Bill McBride on 9/12/2016 04:22:00 PM

Fed Governor Lael Brainard mentioned oil prices earlier today:

The stabilization of the dollar and oil prices should lead inflation to move back toward our target in coming quarters.
Oil PricesClick on graph for larger image

This graph shows the year-over-year change in WTI based on data from the EIA.  Currently WTI is down about 1% year-over-year.

Five times since 1987, oil prices have increased 100% or more YoY.  And several times prices have almost fallen in half YoY.

WTI oil prices are mostly unchanged year-over-year.

The second graph shows WTI and Brent spot oil prices from the EIA. (Prices today added).

Oil PricesAccording to Bloomberg, WTI is at $46.05 per barrel today, and Brent is at $48.15.

Prices really collapsed at the end of 2014 - and then rebounded a little - and then collapsed again at the end of 2015 and in early 2016.

Unless prices fall sharply again like happened at the end of 2015, oil (and gasoline prices) will be up year-over-year soon and no longer a drag on inflation.