1

In the past cheap oil has buoyed the world economy because consumers spend much more out of one extra dollar in their pocket than producers do.
Source: Who’s afraid of cheap oil? | The Economist

I cann't figure out what doest it mean 'spend much more of one extra dollar...than producers do'. Much more than one dollar? but why produces do? Does producers also spend much more dollars?

  • Out of in your sentence refers to the source and means from. The sentence says in the past consumers paid the most of the cost of extracting oil so it was a profitable thing for producers. I think it means from the whole amount of – Yuri Mar 31 '16 at 7:24
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The clause that confuses you is:

consumers spend much more out of one extra dollar in their pocket than producers do
(Personally, I'd use spent, because it's "in the past", and probably pockets, but, anyway.)

Note that it's not just "spend much more of one extra dollar". It's "spend much more out of one extra dollar in their pocket".


Let's look at the structure more closely:

[ consumers
​    [ spend
​       much more
​          [ out of one extra dollar in their pocket ]
​    ]
]
​than
​[ producers
​ ​    [ do ]
​]

The do in producers do is for: spend (out of one extra dollar in their pocket).


So, the clause means that:

  1. Given that there is one extra dollar in an average consumer's pocket.
  2. Given that there is one extra dollar in an average producer's pocket.
  3. The consumer would spend much more out of that one extra dollar than the producer would.

In other words, having an extra dollar in their pockets,
they both would spend some of it, but the consumer would spend more.

  • Note that I didn't really address the meaning of out of because the body of your question suggests that it wasn't out of that confused you. (It was the structure of the sentence, i.e., much more ... than ... do.) Just in case, out of is frequently used this way, e.g., 7 out of 10; 42 out of 100 workers; 50 cents out of a dollar, etc. – Damkerng T. Mar 31 '16 at 7:48
  • Amazing explanations. Frankly, I've never get one like this. Yeah, it is mainly the structure that confused me. Also thank you for the 'out of' explanation, I was not very understand it before. – wolfrevo Mar 31 '16 at 7:58
  • Actually I am OK with spend as written. The bolded phrase seems to be stating a general rule of what happens. Without more context, I read it as occurring over time, from the past into the present. "In the past" just adds a perspective related to some other topic discussed. On pockets I agree, but primarily because most Western clothing has more than one pocket, but that is not necessarily true everywhere. Or it could be referring to a symbolic pocket. – user3169 Mar 31 '16 at 16:22

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