Handwringing over the effect of higher oil prices on the U.S. economy is overblown.
That's the conclusion Daniel Silver of JPMorgan came to when analyzing the potential aftermath of oil prices reaching about $72 of a barrel.
Oil prices have risen about $10 per barrel since the start of 2018 and $30 since the lows of mid-2017. While the firm believes that this increase will be a slight negative for the economy, overall, rising oil prices will have little effect.
The rise in oil prices will likely be a drag on consumption and could eat into the tax windfall that most Americans are expected to receive now that the tax reform bill has been signed into law.
Silver noted that the PCE price index for gasoline and other energy goods typically moves half as much as crude oil prices. "The increase in oil prices over the past year would generate an added cost to consumers equivalent to about 0.5% of consumption and 0.3% of GDP if volumes hold constant," Silver wrote.
However, JPMorgan believes that consumers may adjust saving to offset at least some of the price changes, leading to a net zero impact on economic growth.