The economy is heating up. Literally....This year's warm weather means economic activity that would normally be put off until spring is happening now instead, says Goldman Sachs economist Ed McKelvey.The article goes on to discuss how certain industries, like home-building, are helped by the warm weather, while others, like clothes retailers, have seen their winter sales drop. So this year treat economic statistics, which are adjusted for seasonal variations, with caution.
One unquestionably good development is the plunge in oil prices, which some traders see as heading toward $40 per barrel:
Typically in January, refiners are busy pumping out heating oil to meet high demand. This year, due to an unseasonably warm winter in the Northeast, which consumes the majority of U.S. heating oil, refiners have cut back on heating-oil production and are making more gasoline, getting a head start on the peak summer driving season. Refiners are also getting a jump on seasonal repair work, and Gulf Coast refiners have less repair work to do after a tame hurricane season.Who's hurt? Oil companies and Middle Eastern countries that support terrorism. Who's helped? the rest of us. Bush's secret plan to fight terrorism through global warming is working! © 2007 Stephen Yuen