Oil price rise not threat to global recovery: IMF

Sat Nov 6, 2010 10:07am EDT
 
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KUWAIT (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund does not see a rise in oil prices as a threat to the global economic recovery and will closely monitor a new round of U.S. policy easing, a senior IMF official said on Saturday. "No, it seems that in the current environment the energy prices seem to be responding to strengthening growth certainly relatively close to a range that has appeared consistent with continued expansion in the global economy," first managing director John Lipsky told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of Gulf policymakers in Kuwait.

Benchmark U.S. crude touched a two-year peak of $87.43 a barrel on Friday after stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data.

Asked about the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision this week to expand monetary easing with a commitment to buy $600 billion in government debt to try and bolster a faltering U.S. recovery, Lipsky said: "We will be watching closely to see the impact of this development."

The IMF's chief economist Olivier Blanchard said on Thursday that the Fed's economic stimulus would intensify capital flows into emerging markets, which could be destabilizing.

The U.S. central bank's decision has drawn criticism from a number of nations who say it is generating global instability by ramping up their currencies against the dollar, potentially inflating asset bubbles and stoking inflation in their economies.

(Reporting by Eman Goma and Diana Elias; Writing by Martin Dokoupil; Editing by Susan Fenton)