Historically, productivity has tended to increase during economic
upswings as companies use their rising profits to invest capital back
into their businesses and to expand their payrolls. The current economic
recovery, however, has not followed that path.
Capital allocation among large U.S. companies still seems to be
dominated by mergers and acquisitions, share repurchases and growing
dividends. This has been the trend since the economic recovery began in
Global demand for oil may be slowly rising, but the industry is still
pumping over 2 million barrels a day more than what the market needs.
The surplus in the U.S. alone is getting closer to filling up all of the
onshore storage capacity, and millions of additional barrels are being
stashed in tankers at sea.