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Do oil futures prices help predict future oil prices?

Author

Listed:
  • Tao Wu
  • Andrew H. McCallum

Abstract

The price of oil has risen by about 60% since mid-2004 and by more than 40% since the beginning of 2005. Though the U.S. economy has apparently absorbed this supply shock well so far, the path of future oil prices remains a concern for monetary policymakers. Higher oil prices can damp demand, as consumers and firms spend more of their budgets on oil-related products and less on other goods and services. Furthermore, if higher oil prices are passed through to a significant extent to other goods and services and ultimately wages, inflationary pressures can build. ; Is the price of oil likely to rise further, or will it decline gradually, as it did in the mid-1980s? A natural place to look for an answer is in the markets, where oil traders are knowledgeable about the industry and where their profits ride on making sound investments. This Economic Letter discusses how to forecast future oil price movements based on information from both the oil futures market and the spot market. In particular, we conduct a series of forecasting exercises and compare the performance of models that use oil futures and spot prices in an attempt to find the one that performs best.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:y:2005:i:dec30:n:2005-38
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
    2. Jinjarak, Yothin, 2014. "Equity prices and financial globalization," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 49-57.
    3. Panopoulou, Ekaterini & Pantelidis, Theologos, 2015. "Speculative behaviour and oil price predictability," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 128-136.
    4. Menzie D. Chinn & Olivier Coibion, 2014. "The Predictive Content of Commodity Futures," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(7), pages 607-636, July.
    5. Alessandra Amendola & Vincenzo Candila & Antonio Scognamillo, 2017. "On the influence of US monetary policy on crude oil price volatility," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 155-178, February.
    6. Cevik, Emrah Ismail & Pekkaya, Mehmet, 2007. "Spot Ve Vadeli̇ İşlem Fi̇yatlarinin Varyanslari Arasindaki̇ Nedenselli̇k Testi̇
      [Causality in variance test between spot and futures prices]
      ," MPRA Paper 71301, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Mona Shazly & Alice Lou, 2016. "Comparing the Forecasting Performance of Futures Oil Prices with Genetically Evolved Neural Networks," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 22(4), pages 361-376, November.
    8. Michele Cavallo & Tao Wu, 2006. "Measuring oil-price shocks using market-based information," Working Paper Series 2006-28, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    9. E. Mamatzakis, 2014. "Revealing asymmetries in the loss function of WTI oil futures market," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 411-426, September.
    10. Jean-Thomas Bernard, Lynda Khalaf, Maral Kichian, and Sebastien McMahon, 2015. "The Convenience Yield and the Informational Content of the Oil Futures Price," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    11. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz & Vigfusson, Robert J., 2013. "Forecasting the Price of Oil," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    12. Bahel, Eric, 2011. "Optimal management of strategic reserves of nonrenewable natural resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 267-280, May.
    13. Kuper, Gerard H., 2012. "Inventories and upstream gasoline price dynamics," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 208-214.
    14. de Almeida, Pedro & Silva, Pedro D., 2009. "The peak of oil production--Timings and market recognition," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1267-1276, April.
    15. Chesnes, Matthew, 2015. "The impact of outages on prices and investment in the U.S. oil refining industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 324-336.
    16. 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.
    17. Tao Wu & Michele Cavallo, 2007. "Measuring oil-price shocks using market-based information," 2007 Meeting Papers 953, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Ashima Goyal & Shruti Tripathi, 2012. "Regulations and price discovery: oil spot and futures markets," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2012-016, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.

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