Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

August 2000: Oil Prices Strike Again

Will they bring the PR economy down?

World oil prices by OPEC and the subsequent increases in gasoline prices and electricity bills have taken center stage. Between March 1999 and June 2000, the average monthly world price of a barrel of oil increased from $14.72 to $30.27. This increase is not demand-driven since world consumption, measured in millions of daily barrels, only increased 1.7% on an annual basis during the past five years. What are the factors leading to this steep increase in prices? How will this oil turmoil impact PR? Are gasoline prices really high locally compared to other countries? Find out if we are less vulnerable now than before to oil price shocks?