Jon Krause

Het schrikbeeld van de olieprijs

NEW YORK – De fragiele wereldeconomie van vandaag de dag wordt met een groot aantal risico's geconfronteerd: het risico dat de crisis in de eurozone weer oplaait; het risico van een erger dan verwachte groeivertraging in China; en het risico dat het economische herstel in de Verenigde Staten (opnieuw) inzakt. Maar geen enkel risico vormt een grotere bedreiging dan een verdere forse stijging van de olieprijzen.

De prijs van een vat ruwe Brent-olie, die in 2011 nog duidelijk onder de $ 100 lag, bereikte onlangs een nieuwe piek op $ 125. Ondertussen nadert de benzineprijs in de VS de $ 4 per gallon, voor het consumentenvertrouwen de pijngrens, terwijl de prijs aan de pomp tijdens het zomerse hoogseizoen zelfs nog verder op zal lopen.

Angst verklaart deze prijsstijgingen, in weerwil van het ruime olieaanbod, een gedaalde vraag in de VS en Europa als gevolg van het verminderde autogebruik in de afgelopen jaren en een zwakke tot negatieve bbp-groei in de VS en de eurozone. Simpel gezegd heeft de toenemende bezorgdheid over een militair conflict tussen Israël en Iran voor een “angstpremie” gezorgd.

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