Oil's Slide as Chaotic as Its Rise

Plunging crude prices can be almost as disruptive as their rise
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Sep 17, 2008 10:00 AM CDT
In this photo combo, the price board at gas station in Redwood City, Calif. is shown on June 9, 2008, left, and Sept. 11, 2008, right.    (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – Crude oil prices have fallen 38% from their July high of $147.27 a barrel, and the decline is causing nearly as much consternation around the world as its meteoric rise in the first half of the year, reports the Washington Post. Oil-dependent governments are worried about revenues and forecasters are scurrying to revise outlooks. while alternative-energy companies see their prospects decline.

The world has seen its energy costs drop some $4 billion a day. Though still high, the prices have energized auto and airline stocks. For the US, a lower oil import bill has been fueled by decreased consumption, and that could mean an easing of inflation, a narrowing trade deficit, and a stronger dollar.