A recent Fortune article listed the magazine's top 10
things that can go wrong with the U.S. economy. Although not all
directly affect the roofing industry, some deserve a closer
Fortune has identified soaring crude oil prices as a
major concern facing the U.S. economy. Crude oil prices rose 34
percent per barrel two months after the United States' war against
terrorism began. In addition, Iraq has halted its oil exports, and
other countries may follow. And Venezuela, currently one of the
countries the United States depends most on for oil supplies, has
been experiencing political upheavals that have affected its oil
Increasing wholesale per barrel prices can mean about $70
billion in tax increases, according to Fortune. Imagining
how these increases might be passed to the roofing
industry—asphalt roofing material prices will increase, as
well as the obvious surge in gasoline prices—can cause
anxiety to settle in relatively quickly.
The Russian oil market may offer an alternative. According to
Fortune, Russian oil production has increased by more than 1
million barrels per day during the past two years and exports have
increased, as well. In fact, the country boasts the most oil
outside the Middle East. And one Russian company, Moscow-based
Yukos, is offering its oil within a dollar of that offered by Saudi
Arabian companies. Currently, about 15 percent of U.S. oil imports
come from Saudi Arabia; Russia supplies only 0.77 percent of U.S.
oil. These numbers could change, particularly as Russia emerges as
having one of the more stable political climates among...
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