Ministers call for united effort to help stabilize oil market

Pages:285-287
SUMMARY

IMF objectives and medium-term strategy. IMF support for low-income countries. Other issues.

 
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Page 285

Following is the full text of the communiqué issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) after its meeting in Washington, D.C., on September 24. The meeting was chaired by Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom.

The Committee welcomes the ongoing global economic expansion, although it notes that growth divergences between countries remain wide. Global growth is expected to continue, although downside risks to the outlook have increased, especially high and volatile oil prices, recently exacerbated by the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the widening of global imbalances, increasing protectionist sentiment, and the possibility of tighter financial market conditions.While core inflation generally is contained and inflation expectations remain well anchored, higher oil prices remain a risk to price stability. The Committee notes that these areas should be a particular focus of IMF surveillance and policy advice in the coming months.

The Committee emphasizes that oil producers, oil consumers, and oil companies will all have their part to play in working together to promote greater stability in the oil market.

First, the Committee welcomes the action by members of the International Energy Agency and oil-producing countries to continue to increase supplies to the market. Second, the Committee calls for further investment both now and in the long term throughout the supply chain, particularly in refining capacity including of heavy oil, and for efforts to create a favorable investment climate. Third, the Committee also stresses the importance of policies to promote energy conservation, efficiency, and sustainability, including through new technologies, alternative sources of energy, and reducing subsidies on oil products. Fourth, the Committee encourages closer dialogue between oil producers and consumers, and further efforts to improve oil market data and transparency to improve market efficiency. Fifth, the IMF should stand ready to provide assistance to help members, especially poor countries, deal with oil price shocks.

The Committee welcomes recent progress in implementing the agreed policies to address global imbalances and foster growth, but urges further action to promote orderly adjustment in view of the heightened risks to the outlook. This includes fiscal consolidation to increase national savings in the United States, greater exchange rate flexibility in emerging Asia, further structural reforms to boost potential growth in the euro area, and further structural reforms, including fiscal consolidation, in Japan, where the economy is regaining momentum.

Measures to promote a more investor-friendly environment, including in a number of emerging market economies...

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