Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Black Gold

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Black Gold

Article excerpt

AS THE price of oil continues to reach record highs, there is no sign of panic - yet. In fact, given the warnings from the prophets of doom at the beginning of the year, when a barrel of crude started its ascent in earnest, the economy has weathered the climb fairly well. But there are important caveats. Some parts of the economy have been suffering, especially manufacturing industry, already in the grip of fierce competition from overseas. Unlike its counterparts in parts of the world where labour and other costs are cheap, manufacturing is less able to absorb the rise itself.

Consumers, too, are feeling the pinch as the price of a tank of petrol goes ever upwards. Meanwhile, the price shows no sign of dropping - slowing down its gain, possibly, but not heading into reverse. Currently about $65 a barrel, economists are predicting $70 by the end of the year. Could it go higher than that? A recent Washington simulation exercise saw US government planners grappling with $120a-barrel oil - the result of interruptions to supply caused by terrrorism and political instability in several of the already highly volatile oil-producing nations. …

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