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IMF forecasts lower oil price in 2019

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the average price of oil will be $62.31 a barrel in 2018 and $58.24 a barrel in 2019 and will remain unchanged in real terms over the medium term.

The crude oil prices hover around $65 to $70 per barrel at the moment.

The fund, in its World Economic Outlook presented at the Springs Meeting in Washington DC, however increased its economic growth forecast for Nigeria from 1.9 to 2.1 per cent for 2018 and maintained the 2019 forecast at 1.9 per cent.

It maintained most of its projections of the global economy unchanged from its January 2018 data.

The outlook is mixed across emerging markets and developing economies. Prospects remain favourable in emerging Asia and Europe, but are challenging in Latin America, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, where despite some recovery, the medium term outlook for commodity exporters remains generally subdued, with a need for further economic diversification and adjustment to lower commodity prices.

“More than one-quarter of emerging markets and developing economies are projected to grow by less than advanced economies in per capita terms,” it said.

IMF said the recent import restrictions announced by the United States, the retaliatory actions by China, and potential retaliation by other countries raise concerns and threaten to damage global and domestic activities and sentiment.

While presenting the outlook, Maurice Obstefeld, the Economic Counsellor and Director of Research Department of IMF, said while some of the emerging economies can expect longer term growth rates comparable to pre-crises rates, many commodity exporters will not be so lucky, despite some improvements in the outlook for commodity prices.

He said: “At the IMF, we have been saying for a while that the current cyclical upswing offers policy makers an ideal opportunity to make long-term growth stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive. The present good time will not last for long, but sound policies can extend upswing while reducing the risk of a disruptive unwinding.”

He further posited that countries need to rebuild fiscal buffers, enact structural reforms, and steer monetary policy cautiously in an environment that is already complex and challenging.

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