Oil prices are rising and taking up a larger amount of U.S. GDP, in a similar way to how they did in 2008, according to Lazard Capital Markets.
And now they’re in the 5 per cent of GDP range, which has the potential to destroy demand.
From Lazard Capital Markets:
Oil prices likely to go higher but entering demand destruction range; time to get more cautious. In contrast to the 2008 superspike, where oil prices spiked on runaway emerging market demand, the latest spike has been driven by supply issues as Middle East instability worsens. With unrest spreading from Egypt to Libya and Oman (and concern over possible unrest in Saudi Arabia), we believe oil prices could go significantly higher from current levels. Our price elasticity models indicate oil prices could spike to $160+/Bbl if we lost all Libyan production and one half of Saudi production.
That said, we are near levels where the market begins to worry about negative impacts on the economy (~ 5% of global GDP), which we believe warrants a more selective investment stance based on our analysis of the prior oil price spike cycle in 2008.
Since this scenario is somewhat different, being based not on demand but on supply, it is unsure whether or not it will have the same impact. But if you’re looking at the oil price just in terms of GDP, we’re nearing the point where things could turn ugly.
Photo: Lazard Capital Markets