Roubini Sees Double Dip if Oil Hits $140


"In the U.S., a 15%20% rise in oil prices will stall pace of growth."

Noriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini, the economist who predicted the global financial crisis, said an increase in oil prices to $140 a barrel will cause some advanced economies to slide back into recession.

Underlying how fragile the global economic recovery is, Roubini said the European Central Bank may be making a mistake by raising interest rates "too soon" when debt-ridden countries on the euro region's periphery struggle to restore the competitiveness of exports.

"If you had the oil price going up to where it was in the summer of 2008, at $140 a barrel, at that point some of the advanced economies will start to double dip," he told reporters in Dubai today. "In the U.S., where growth is accelerating fast, a 15%20% increase in oil prices, there won't be double dip, but growth reaching a stalled speed again."

Popular revolts sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, home to more than half of the world's proven oil reserves, have pushed Brent crude-oil prices close to $120. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its forecast for Brent crude in the second quarter of the year to $105 a barrel amid fighting in Libya between Muammar Qaddafi and rebels seeking to end his four-decade rule.

Crude for April delivery fell as much as $2.11 to $103.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $105 at 5:19 p.m. in Dubai. Yesterday, the contract settled at $105.44, the highest since Sept. 26, 2008. Prices are up 27% from a year ago.

In January, the IMF revised its forecast for global economic growth this year to 4.4% from an earlier estimate of 4.2%, reflecting stronger U.S. output based on tax-cut extensions, while emerging nations lead the recovery.

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