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Cheap oil's unexpected harm to U.S. economy
Cheap oil's unexpected harm to U.S. economy

If there was one thing most economists agreed on at the start of the year, it was this: Plunging oil prices would boost the U.S. economy. It hasn't worked out that way. The economy is thought to have shrunk in the January-March quarter and may barely grow for the first half of 2015, thanks in part to sharp cuts in energy drilling. And despite their savings at the gas pump, consumers have slowed their spending. At $2.71 a gallon, the average price of gas nationwide is nearly $1 lower than it was a year ago. In January, the average briefly reached $2.03, the lowest in five years. Cheaper oil and gas had been expected to turbocharge spending and drive growth, more than making up for...

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