A renewed plunge in oil prices is a worrying sign of weakness in the global economy that could shake governments dependent on oil revenues. Yet it is also a bonus for consumers as prices fall at the pump, giving individuals more spending money and lowering costs for many businesses.
The latest slide was triggered by OPEC’s decision this week to leave its production target at 30 million barrels a day. Member nations of the cartel are worried they’ll lose market share if they lower production.
Partly because of the shale oil boom in the U.S., the world is awash in oil but demand from major economies is weak – so prices are falling.
Brent crude, an international benchmark, was at $72.50 a barrel on Friday, down nearly 30 percent in the past three months and at its lowest in four years. U.S. crude oil slid 6.2 percent to near $69 a barrel on Friday and is down 27 percent over three months.