WASHINGTON, April 7 The global economy is
entering a period when demand for oil will outstrip supply,
laying the ground for price spikes, the IMF said on Thursday.
"There is a risk that the tensions between demand and
supply trends could intensify again and prices could rise
rapidly," said Thomas Helbling, an adviser to the International
Monetary Fund's Research Department.
In a newly released analysis, the institution said if
tensions between demand and supply factors intensified it could
force price spikes as high as $148 a barrel when the oil price
hit record levels in 2008.
"The increases in the trend component of oil prices
suggest that the global oil market has entered a period of
increased scarcity," the IMF said in initial chapters of its
World Economic Outlook report, which will be released in full
Brent futures, a global benchmark oil contract, has risen
almost $8 over the past five days to $122.30 on Wednesday. They
climbed above $120 a barrel this week for the first time since
2008, with no end in sight to unrest in the oil-producing
Middle East and North Africa. [ID:nN06206555]
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton)