May 2016, Vol. 243, No. 5

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Crude Oil Volatility Decreases as Prices Rise from Early 2016 Levels

During the first three months of 2016, crude oil prices were relatively more volatile than in recent history. This elevated volatility occurred when overall oil prices were low, and volatility was driven by high uncertainty related to supply, demand, and inventories. Crude oil price volatility has declined since its peak in March. Prices have risen as concerns about future economic growth have abated and as inventory growth has slowed since the start of the year. The 30-day measure of oil price volatility (calculated as the standard deviation of daily percent changes in crude oil prices over the previous 30 trading days) reached a high of 45% on March 4 before falling to 33% on April 18. Vo

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