Oil Price Dynamics Report

Our oil price decomposition, reported weekly, examines what’s behind recent fluctuations in oil prices: demand factors, supply factors, or some combination of the two?
May 20, 2019: Highlights

Oil prices rose this week owing to increased demand and lower supply.


  • Higher demand expectations and lower anticipated supply resulted in higher oil prices this week. In 2019:Q1, oil prices rose due to increasing demand.
  • In 2018, strengthening global demand expectations drove oil prices higher. This trend reversed in 2018:Q4, when weaker expected demand and higher anticipated supply lowered prices.
  • Overall, between 2014 and 2017, both lower global demand expectations and higher anticipated supply held oil prices down. Since mid-2017, this trend has reversed as stronger demand expectations and stabilizing anticipated supply have driven oil prices higher.
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Released weekly on Mondays at 3 p.m. (Exceptions noted above.)

Note: To assist readers, the New York Fed is now publishing the data underlying the charts and tables. While the Bank does not share the code for its calculations, information about the methodology is available in the PDF report and the related reading noted on this page. The New York Fed does not offer individualized services to readers, such as custom charts or analysis.

Our analysis of oil price movements does not necessarily represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Reserve System, or the Federal Open Market Committee.



Related Reading
For more information about the methodology, see “Is Cheaper Oil Good News or Bad News for the U.S. Economy?Liberty Street Economics, June 8, 2015.

We also updated our analysis in “Lower Oil Prices and U.S. Economic ActivityLiberty Street Economics, May 2, 2016.

About the New York Fed’s Oil Price Dynamics Report
How oil price fluctuations affect the U.S. economy will depend on whether supply or demand factors are driving them. Our statistical model examines correlations of oil price changes with a broad array of financial variables to determine which forces best explain price movements. We update it each Monday at 3 p.m. (except during blackout periods surrounding Federal Open Market Committee meetings). When federal holidays occur on a Monday, the report is delayed by twenty-four hours. Find detailed information about our methodology within the report.