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.