Friday, October 14, 2011

Short Note on the Arab Spring Price Spike

I was having a little email discussion with Kevin Drum and Jim Hamilton about sources for monthly oil prices, and that led me to make the above graph.  It shows WTI (from Fred) and Brent prices (from the EIA), corrected for inflation using the CPI-less-energy (from the BLS).

The point that struck me was that the Arab Spring/Libya price spike this year actually hit a higher level in real terms than the 1980 (Iranian revolution) price spike.  There's perhaps a tendency to see it as a minor affair since prices didn't reach the level of 2008 (particularly in WTI terms, which we should probably ignore recently), but it really is up there in the pantheon of big oil shocks.

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