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?

March 1, 2021: Highlights

Oil prices increased over the past week owing to decreased supply.

  • Although demand expectations deteriorated over the past week, this was offset by a decrease in anticipated supply, resulting in higher oil prices. In 2020:Q4, oil prices rose owing to increased demand and decreased supply.
  • In 2020:Q1, oil prices plummeted owing to decreased demand and increased supply, whereas in 2020:Q2, oil prices rose owing to increased demand. In 2020:Q3, oil prices fell owing to increased supply. Oil prices rose in 2019 due to increasing demand expectations.
  • Overall, between 2014 and 2017, both lower global demand expectations and higher anticipated supply held oil prices down. Since mid-2017, this trend reversed as stronger demand expectations and stabilizing anticipated supply drove oil prices higher. This lasted until 2018:Q4, when weaker demand lowered prices.

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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.

How to cite this data:
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Oil Price Dynamics Report, https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/policy/oil_price_dynamics_report.html.
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.
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