While the fourth quarter U.S. GDP numbers were soft, the global economy, anchored by the U.S. and China is still expected to grow in 2013. That is, if triple digit oil prices don't get in the way:
U.S. benchmark crude oil prices are expected to resume their march towards triple digits as stock markets respond to improved economic data in the U.S. and China, according to CNBC's latest oil market sentiment survey....
But if prices do rise and stay elevated above triple digits, some fear this may disrupt the economic recovery and hit sentiment on the equity markets. Higher oil prices would constitute an "added tax on consumers," Michael Gayed, chief investment strategist and co-portfolio manager at Pension Partners, LLC.
This dynamic -- economic growth leading to high oil prices leading to an economic downturn leading to lower oil consumption and lower oil prices -- is why some advocates of "peak oil" like Chris Skrebowski argue that is more of an economic phenomena than a geological one.