One of the biggest market stories of the year has been the precipitous drop in oil prices. Here are a few charts that illustrate some of the drop’s effects on markets and economies across the world.
Armed conflicts enveloping Syria, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East in the last few years haven’t been enough to offset stalling global economies—especially with non-OPEC nations stepping up their oil production. That’s part of what made it such a big deal when the bloc decided not to cut production last month.
It costs money to get oil out of the ground, and when the prices that can be commanded by energy companies drops below a certain point, profits suffer.
Energy companies took advantage of low rates to borrow heavily.
But low oil prices, along with the coal industry’s struggles, are now giving junk bond investors headaches.
At the pump, cheaper oil means consumers have a little more spending power.
Expensive oil had been good for employment, especially in North Dakota.
In Angola, lower oil prices are draining the National Bank of Angola of foreign currency. As a result, its own currency is weakening and inflation is rising.
A similar dynamic is playing out in Nigeria for the naira.