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What can the oil futures curve tell us about the outlook for oil prices?

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Large movements in the oil price have had significant effects on UK CPI inflation over the past few years. In order to produce an inflation forecast, it is necessary to assume a path for oil and other commodity prices. The Monetary Policy Committee assumes that oil prices follow the path given by market futures prices when deciding their central projections for CPI inflation and GDP growth. This article considers arguments for and against using the futures curve as an assumed path and describes some of the other indicators used by the Committee in assessing the outlook for oil prices.

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  • Nixon, Dan & Smith, Tom, 2012. "What can the oil futures curve tell us about the outlook for oil prices?," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 52(1), pages 39-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:qbullt:0069
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Trevor A. Reeve & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2011. "Evaluating the forecasting performance of commodity futures prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 1025, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. James D. Hamilton, 2009. "Causes and Consequences of the Oil Shock of 2007-08," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(1 (Spring), pages 215-283.
    3. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz & Vigfusson, Robert J., 2013. "Forecasting the Price of Oil," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    4. Saporta, Victoria & Trott, Matt & Tudela, Merxe, 2009. "What can be said about the rise and fall in oil prices?," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 49(3), pages 215-225.
    5. Gary B. Gorton & Fumio Hayashi & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2013. "The Fundamentals of Commodity Futures Returns," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 35-105.
    6. Pagano Patrizio & Pisani Massimiliano, 2009. "Risk-Adjusted Forecasts of Oil Prices," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, June.
    7. Tao Wu & Andrew H. McCallum, 2005. "Do oil futures prices help predict future oil prices?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue dec30.
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    Cited by:

    1. Valadkhani, Abbas, 2014. "Dynamic effects of rising oil prices on consumer energy prices in Canada and the United States: Evidence from the last half a century," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 33-44.
    2. Ahmadov, Vugar & Huseynov, Salman & Mammadov, Fuad & Karimli, Tural, 2015. "Brent nefti opsiyonlarından neytral riskli ehtimal paylanmasının əldə olunması
      [Extracting risk-neutral probability distribution from Brent oil options]
      ," MPRA Paper 65704, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Smith, Tom, 2012. "Option-implied probability distributions for future inflation," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 52(3), pages 224-234.
    4. Hackworth, Christopher & Radia, Amar & Roberts, Nyssa, 2013. "Understanding the MPC’s forecast performance since mid-2010," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 53(4), pages 336-350.

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