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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Oil Prices Still Falling Despite OPEC Cuts

Crude oil prices continued to drop today, even as OPEC announced a huge cut in production in order to stem the decline.

The price of a barrel of crude oil has now fallen 56 percent from its high in July. Today OPEC said at an emergency meeting that it will cut oil production by 1.5 million barrels in a bid to boost oil prices.

But crude prices fell 5 percent anyway as investors paid more attention to the chaos in the world markets.

Also released today was a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation that showed the largest year-over-year monthly decline in miles driven in 66 years, the AP reports.

Americans drove nearly 6 percent less, or 15 billion fewer miles, in August 2008 compared with August 2007. That's the biggest single year-over-year monthly decline since the data was first collected regularly beginning in 1942.

Oil prices may have fallen, but it looks like most Americans are changing their driving habits because of the larger economic downturn. Unemployment rates are up, meaning fewer workers are driving to jobs. Some may have sold their cars to save money, opting instead to take public transportation.

The latest weekly report from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that oil demand has fallen in 38 of the past 42 weeks. Demand is down nearly 10 percent during the past four weeks compared with last year.

--Kim Hart

By Kim Hart  |  October 24, 2008; 3:00 PM ET
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Well, the greedy oil speculators and OPEC wheelers and dealers actually started the global downturn when they manipulated the oil market and crisis several weeks ago. They deserve the worst and are the money can buy.

Posted by: msreginacomcastnet | October 24, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

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