The world’s central bankers just got a helping hand from the world’s oil ministers.
As the European Central Bank delivers less monetary stimulus than investors sought and with the Federal Reserve set to tighten next week, the world economy may find support instead from the weakest oil price in more than six years.
West Texas Intermediate is trading at about $40 a barrel four days after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries chose not to limit output, extending the commodity’s decline from its June 2014 peak of $107.73 and this year’s high of $62.58 in May.
While its earlier slide failed to provide the economic pickup some anticipated, economists at UniCredit Group AG, Commerzbank AG and Societe Generale SA are still banking on cheaper fuel to spur spending by consumers and companies in 2016.
“On net, central bankers should take this as a positive,” said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank in London. “This does help to stimulate demand by leaving a little bit of money in the pocket and providing a feel-good factor.”