Saudis post prices for refiners, then let them buy all they want at those prices. The chart shows the ‘residual demand’ for crude oil has been reasonably steady, indicating that the price did not move due to any kind of a ‘supply glut’ but to Saudi pricing:


To my point about crude price cuts triggering a general deflation, this is from the Cleveland Fed. Note that in 2008 the price of crude went to 35 but only briefly. My concern is that if crude were to stay low the deflationary effect would continue perhaps until prior relative value was restored:

Since the CPI is most directly influenced by oil price changes through its energy component, one question that remains is whether or not other components in the CPI are influenced by low oil prices. Generally, energy prices are rather volatile, and so energy components are often excluded when predicting inflation because of that volatility. Forecasters focus on “core” measures instead. The recent decline in oil prices is of less concern to many CPI forecasters, because it may not affect the “core” price level. It would be a bit more concerning, however, if low oil prices also affected other domestic prices as well. A quick look at the year-over-year percent changes in the energy CPI and the CPI excluding energy suggests changes in energy prices are often followed by similar changes in the rest of the CPI’s components.


November budget review-up slightly year over year for November

From the Congressional Budget Office:

The federal government’s budget deficit was $181 billion for the first two months of fiscal year 2015, $45 billion less than the shortfall recorded in October and November of last year, CBO estimates. That outcome was affected by shifts in the timing of certain payments. Without those shifts, the deficit would have declined by just $9 billion.

Estimated Deficit in November 2014: $59 Billion

CBO estimates that the government recorded a deficit of $59 billion in November 2014—$76 billion less than the deficit in November 2013. But shifts in the timing of certain payments (because the regular payment dates fell on weekends) boosted spending in November 2013 and reduced it in November 2014. Without those shifts, the November 2014 deficit would have been $3 billion more than the November 2013 deficit.

Individual income taxes and payroll taxes together increased by $5 billion (or 2 percent); a $4 billion increase in withheld taxes explains nearly all of that change.

This is quarterly data released a couple of weeks ago. You can see the growth had slowed to 6.1%, and now most recently is down to 2%, which is a red flag for negative GDP growth: