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Beware: High Oil Prices Often Presage Recessions

Could the Russia invasion of Ukraine push America into a recession? We have already slid into an official bear market on stocks.

Oil prices on global markets hit $100 a barrel earlier today on the news of the invasion. The price of oil averaged roughly $60 a barrel during the Trump years and was at less than $50 a barrel the day Biden was sworn in.

These oil prices translate into $4 to $5.50 per gas at the pump – depending on what state you live in.

The chart below from Nathan Lord of Artex Oil, an Ohio-based shale oil and gas firm, warns that historically a rapid rise in oil prices can crash the economy. Big run-ups in the oil price were followed by three recessions from 1973 to 1981 and then the 1990 recession. Oil prices spiked on the eve of the financial meltdown in 2008.

Higher oil prices are inversely correlated with industrial production because a rise in energy costs translate into higher costs of construction, manufacturing agriculture, and transportation spending.

What is SO sad about the current thrust of oil prices is that we only have ourselves to blame.

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