Oil Analysts Can’t Seem to Get it Right

Back during the spring and early summer, as the price of oil climbed higher with each passing day, it seemed that every energy analyst was saying the price of oil would climb to and stay within the $150 to $200 range within months, if not weeks.

Of course, this sort of fed on itself, and was a major driver behind escalating oil prices, which eventually topped out at $147.11 a barrel on July 11.

Since then, the price of oil has fallen to $107.89 – a drop of over 25%. This recent decline, brought about thanks to a stronger dollar, weaker economies and declining worldwide demand, has made many analysts do an about face and predict that oil will now continue to fall and end the year within the $80 to $100 range.

Maybe if their energy analyst gig doesn’t work out, these people can find work as weather forecasters.

It certainly seems to me that these energy analysts are nothing but trend followers, and are unable to look beyond the status quo. While this in and of itself doesn’t make them terrible people or completely incompetent at their job, I do take issue with the fact that their words seem to carry so much weight with the market.

Think about it – much of the inflationary pressures we’re faced with are due to higher oil prices. Since it’s clear at least some of the run up in oil prices can be attributed to analysts’ predictions, don’t they have to shoulder some of the blame for $4 gas, and the fact inflation is at its highest levels since the late 1970s and early 1980s?

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t expect oil prices to drop this far, but I have neither the access to the same data these guys see, nor does my opinion help to dictate what the world pays for oil and oil-based products.

So, hopefully in the future, either these analysts will keep their mouths shut, or the market won’t put so much weight into what these people have to say.


  1. I always question the true ability of the analysts as well, especially any of them that show up on the mainstream news. It seems like they all just want to be doom and gloom. I can understand getting things wrong, but I think they have a real tendence to ‘over-predict’, which as you said carries way to much weight in the market and is dangerous. These guys should be much more careful about what they say.


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