Oil prices experienced a slight increase on Friday, but were still on track for a second week of losses, amidst mounting concerns about a possible recession and anxieties over the potential for further interest rate hikes.

 At 2:01 pm UAE time, Brent, which is responsible for setting the price for two-thirds of the world’s oil, was trading at $78.71 per barrel, up 0.43 percent, while West Texas Intermediate, the gauge used to monitor US crude, was up 0.05 percent at $74.80 per barrel.

The day before, Brent had closed at $78.37 per barrel, up 0.88 percent, while WTI had risen 0.62 percent to $74.76 per barrel.

“The crude demand outlook is all over the place given the economy is hitting stall speed, while airliners still remain optimistic for a busy summer travel period,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

“The economy is heading towards a rough patch, but it might still have another good quarter left before a recession starts.”

The Commerce Department announced on Thursday that the US economy experienced a growth rate of 1.1 percent during the first quarter of this year. Although there was an upsurge in consumer spending, this was negated by businesses selling off their inventories.

The US economy expanded by 1.1 percent during the first quarter of the year, lower than the expected 2 percent growth rate forecasted by economists. The growth in consumer spending was offset by businesses selling off inventories.

Additionally, fears of a banking crisis were revived when California-based First Republic Bank revealed that its deposits had declined by about $102 billion in the first quarter. Shares of the bank closed up almost 9 percent on Thursday, but have dropped by 95 percent since the beginning of the year.

Brent has lost all the gains made since OPEC+ members announced voluntary crude production cuts of 1.66 million barrels per day on April 2, due to concerns of a slowdown in global growth momentum. Energy traders are keeping a close watch on the US Federal Reserve meeting next week for indications on interest rates. Meanwhile, US commercial crude stocks declined by 5.1 million barrels last week, surpassing analysts’ expectations of a drop of 1.5 million barrels.