Sunday, August 14, 2016

WTI Oil Prices UP Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 8/14/2016 06:47:00 PM

Schedule for Week of Aug 14, 2016

• At 8:30 AM ET, the New York Fed Empire State manufacturing survey for August. The consensus is for a reading of 2.5, up from 0.6.

• At 10:00 AM, the August NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  60, up from 59 in July.  Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: S&P and DOW futures are up slightly (fair value).

Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $44.57 per barrel and Brent at $46.97 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $42, and Brent was at $48 - so prices are mostly unchanged year-over-year.

Here is a graph from for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $2.12 per gallon (down about $0.55 per gallon from a year ago).

Oil PricesClick on graph for larger image

This graph shows the year-over-year change in WTI based on data from the EIA.

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 now up YoY! (Brent is still down YoY)

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

According to Bloomberg, WTI is at $44.57 per barrel today, and Brent is at $46.97

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, oil prices - and eventually gasoline prices - will be up year-over-year and no longer a drag on CPI.