The staff of Fortune recently assembled its predictions for 2016. Here’s one of our forecasts.
Stoked by steady demand from American consumers and slowing-but-still-growing demand in China, prices should climb to $55 a barrel by the end of 2016, a roughly 20% increase from where they stood in mid-November.
That’ll bring a bit of relief to hard-hit companies in the energy sector, but not enough to end its overall slump. Most oil exploration companies need prices to climb above $60 before they’ll feel confident about launching new projects and staffing up again.
This article is part of the 2016 Fortune Crystal Ball, a package of 33 predictions about business, politics and the economy by the writers and editors of Fortune. To see the entire package, click here.