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Happiness comes with a higher crude oil price

This final note today. Oil closed at almost $108 a barrel in New York this afternoon. That's actually a good thing, 'cause it implies traders think the economy -- and thus demand -- is coming back stronger.

But that's not really what I wanted to tell you. The anticipated future price of crude is a bit more relevant than today's mark. So this item from the Institute of International Finance -- that's a global banking group -- deserves a mention.

They figure the Saudi Arabian government, the world's biggest supplier, needs oil to average $88 a barrel this year to break even -- that is, avoid deficits. That's up from a $68 break even point last year.

How come? All the spending the Saudi government's doing to keep its citizens happy and not in the streets.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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