Oil creeps toward top of Asia's economic worry list

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March 6, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-16 Mar. 02-2012 (Falgun 19,2068)<br>

High oil prices are fast replacing Europe as the biggest danger to growth in Asia, threatening to smother consumer demand while taking a knife to exports and reigniting inflation.

 


Brent crude topping $128 a barrel is also a headache for central banks as it makes it harder to use easy monetary policy to cushion growth.

 

And any threat to Asia is a danger to all, as the world is counting on the region to keep growing to offset recession in Europe and a fitful recovery in the United States.

 

"Just as the threat of a financial crisis has receded, the steep rise in oil prices in the first two months of 2012 has resurfaced as the greatest perceived threat to the outlook," warned Nomura's chief economic advisor, David Resler, in a note to clients.

 

Oil matters to Asia. The region is now the largest consumer of the commodity having surpassed North America in 2007 to account for more than 31 percent of world demand. Asia is home to four of the world's 10 largest oil-consuming countries in China, Japan, India and South Korea.

 


http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/05/us-asia-oil-idUSTRE8241S720120305

 

 

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