Oil at $100/bbl won't hurt global economy as much as it did in 2011

By Catherine Bosley on 5/15/2018

ZURICH (Bloomberg) -- The global economic impact of oil hitting $100/bbl won’t be as big as when that happened in 2011 thanks to changes in the U.S.

An analysis by Bloomberg Economics estimated that oil touching the triple-digit mark would shave 0.4% off U.S. gross domestic product in 2020, compared with a baseline price of $75/bbl.

Yet that’s less of a hit than in the past because overall price levels have risen, the amount of energy required to produce a unit of economic output has slipped and the U.S. has become less of an oil importer thanks to its shale industry. That mutes the effect of oil price shocks on the world’s biggest economy, and in turn on other countries.

As such, “$100-oil won’t feel like it did in 2011,” and will actually feel “more like $79”/bbl, economists Jamie Murray, Ziad Daoud, Carl Riccadonna and Tom Orlik found. “With the U.S. still firing on close to all cylinders, the rest of the world would suffer less as well -- global output would be down by 0.2% in 2020.”

The economists also estimated that oil would have to hit $200/bbl before seriously stymieing the global economy.

“The price of a barrel will have to go much higher before global growth slips on an oil slick,” they said. “Of course, any circumstances that pushed oil up that high would likely themselves be a serious drag.”

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