Biggest Threat to US Economy? Oil Price Spike Caused by Iran

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When 18 economists were asked to name the biggest threat to the recovering US economy, 9 answered that an oil price spike caused by a US-Iran confrontation is the most likely. Other contenders included the European debt crisis, political gridlock in Washington, and a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

The survey was conducted by CNNMoney. Two of the economists predicted crude oil prices would spike as high as $180-$200/barrel if a military confrontation begins between the US and Iran and threatens to stop the flow of oil from the Middle Eastern countries surrounding the Persian Gulf.

The economists do not think that such a confrontation is likely, but it is the most likely of the four scenarios considered. “Out of all the things that could derail the economy, that has the highest probability of actually occurring,” said one.