Why Does the Drop in Oil Prices Matter?

Oil prices are trading at $31 a barrel and in retrospect, it is almost hard to believe that the price of crude was more than $140 a barrel this summer (gasoline prices were greater than $4.00 a gallon).

Since those highs, oil prices have plunged more than 70 percent and gas prices are down more than 50 percent. If we discount the run up in the first half of the year, we have still seen a 55 percent drop in oil prices since January.

Crude prices matter for a variety of reasons. Lower oil prices help to cushion the ever dwindling pocketbooks of US consumers. In addition, oil has a direct correlation with consumer prices. With CPI falling for 2 consecutive months, the risk of deflation is growing.

Take a look at the strong correlation between the price of oil and consumer prices.

Oil vs Consumer Prices

About Kathy Lien 236 Articles

Kathy Lien is an Internationally Published Author and Chief Strategist of DailyFX.com, one of the world’s most popular online websites for currency research. Her trading books include the highly acclaimed, Day Trading the Currency Market: Technical and Fundamental Strategies to Profit form Market Swings (2005, Wiley); High Probability Trading Setups for the Currency Market E-Book (2006, Investopedia); and Millionaire Traders: How Everyday People Are Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game (2007, Wiley). As Chief Currency Strategist at FXCM, Kathy is responsible for providing research and analysis for DailyFX, the research arm of FXCM. She also co-edits the BK Forex Advisor, an Investopedia.com Premium Service with Boris Schlossberg – one of the few investment advisory letters focusing strictly on the 2 Trillion/day FX market.

Kathy is also one of the authors of Investopedia’s Forex Education section and has written for Tradingmarkets.com, the Asia Times Online, Stocks & Commodities Magazine, MarketWatch, ActiveTrader Magazine, Currency Trader, Futures Magazine and SFO. She is frequently quoted by Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS and Bloomberg Radio. She has also hosted trader chats on EliteTrader, eSignal and FXStreet, sharing her expertise in both technical and fundamental analysis.

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