Inflation is loosely described as a general economic state of rising prices. In February 2020, the US inflation rate dipped from a high of 2.5% in January, to 2.3%. Assuming the standard of steadily increasing prices, driven largely by food, fuel, and living expenses, one can expect the inflation rate to tick higher. Forecasts for April 2020 are at 1.7%. Given that the major drivers of inflation are excess demand (demand-pull inflation), or cost-push inflation, current conditions based on Coronavirus quarantines have created a murky demand climate. Oil Prices and Inflationary Expectations All major US indices, including the Dow Jones Index, have plunged precipitously. Stock portfolios … [Read more...]
Falling Oil Prices: Worrying Trend or Saving Grace?
By Marin Katusa, Casey Energy Team When oil prices start to decline, investors and economists get worried. Oil prices in large part reflect global sentiment towards our economic future – prosperous, growing economies need more oil while slumping, shrinking economies need less, and so the price of crude indicates whether the majority believes we are headed for good times or bad. That explains the worry – those worried investors and economists are using oil prices as an indicator, and falling prices indicate bad times ahead. But oil prices have to correct when economies slow down, or else high energy costs drag things down even further. And the current relationship between oil prices and … [Read more...]