The price of oil and the Scottish economy

Allan, Grant (2015) The price of oil and the Scottish economy. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 38 (3). pp. 41-46. ISSN 2046-5378

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There were days in the latter half of 2014 when it seemed as if the price of oil was declining faster than newspapers were able to report it. Published prices were out of date almost before the ink was dry, superseded by successively lower prices, eventually falling to just over $45/barrel. So, we know that as soon as we note that the price of oil today (13th February 2015) is $55.73/barrel, that this will likely be wrong in the very near future [Update: as of 28rd February 2015 it is $62.58/barrel – a rise of over 12% in just ten days]. As an indication of how much the price of oil has fallen, and the rapid pace of this decline, prices in June 2014 were above $110.00/barrel. The decline appeared to have two distinct phases; first, the period to the start of October 2015 when the price fell by just over $10/barrel in three months, prior to a second phase – lasting slightly more than three months - when prices fell by over 50% to $50/barrel. The last time there was such a rapid decline in price was in final half of 2008, at the start of the Great Recession.