Sete questões sobre a descida dos combustíveis

Vale a pena ir ler, no IMF direct: Seven questions about the recent oil price slump, por Olivier Blanchard e Rabah Arezki. Conclusões resumidas em baixo.

We find that both supply and demand factors have played a role in the sharp price decline since June. Futures markets suggest that oil prices will rebound but will remain below the level of recent years. There is, however, substantial uncertainty about the evolution of supply and demand factors as the story unfolds.

While no two countries will experience the drop in the same way, they share some common traits: oil importers among advanced economies, and even more so among emerging markets, stand to benefit from higher household income, lower input costs, and improved external positions. Oil exporters will take in less revenue, and their budgets and external balances will be under pressure.

Risks to financial stability have increased, but remain limited. Currency pressures have so far been limited to a handful of oil-exporting countries such as Russia, Nigeria, and Venezuela. Given global financial linkages, these developments demand increased vigilance all-round.

Oil exporters will want to smooth out the adjustment by not curtailing fiscal spending abruptly. For those without savings funds and strong fiscal rules, however, budgetary and exchange rate pressures may be significant. Without the right monetary policies, this could lead to higher inflation and further depreciation.

The fall in oil prices provides an opportunity for many countries to decrease energy subsidies and use the savings toward more targeted transfers. For others it is a chance to increase energy taxes and lower other taxes.

In the Eurozone and Japan, where demand is weak and conventional monetary policy has done most of what it can, central banks’ forward guidance is crucial to anchor medium-term inflation expectations in the face of falling oil prices.

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