IMF: World Economy Strong Enough to Weather Oil Rise
Byline: LESLEY WROUGHTON
WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) The global economic recovery has built up enough momentum to weather the effects of rising oil prices, which hit their highest level in at least 21 years this week, the head of the International Monetary Fund said.
In an interview, IMF Managing Director Rodrigo Rato said the increase in the oil price to a high of $43.05 a barrel on Wednesday was caused by both economic and political factors.
Rato said he agreed with the Paris-based International Energy Agency that oil prices would stay higher than was expected "only a few months ago."
"We agree with the International Energy Agency in the sense that because of structural changes in supply and demand of oil, we are certainly in a moment in which we envision the price of oil is going to stay above the initial targets for quite a long time," he said.
The IMF and economists have put global growth in excess of 4.5 percent this year even as oil cruises above $40 a barrel and more increases in United States interest rates loom.
Earlier this month, the IEA revised upward its forecast for world oil demand growth in 2004, with Chinas booming economy and the United States economic recovery accounting for significant increases in worldwide consumption.
Global demand will grow this year by 2.49 million barrels per day to 81.41 million bpd, according to the Paris-based IEA, which advises industrialized nations on energy policy. …