The US economy shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the January-March quarter, according to the latest figures from the Commerce Department. Its estimates a month ago indicated the first-quarter contraction was just one percent. We explore the limited significance of the latest gloomy figures in the current climate of optimism. Also, turns out there may be a crack in the U.S. ban on oil exports, something producers in fracking regions are currently lobbying for. And the ultralight oil produced by fracking is what’s seeping through that crack. Fracked oil is so light that refineries aren’t set up to handle it, intensifying a surplus that already exists because of high production. We investigate.
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