Last year Banc of America-Merrill Lynch’s head of global commodities research Francisco Blanch published several interesting notes considering the level at which crude oil prices could threaten world economic recovery. Blanch’s threshold estimates — $80 for the developed world, and $90 for emerging markets — has already, in part, been exceeded.
We have seen some other analysts and economists pointing out that gasoline consumption in the US is nearing a critically high proportion of consumption spending. The IEA, meanwhile, also began to express concern about prices in April.
Blanch’s figures published in 2009 were partly based on information from colleagues who are economic analysts covering different countries around the world. While Blanch cautions he has not yet revisited this analysis, he believes that the world can probably tolerate higher crude prices than his last estimate. However he warns there are still risks, particularly for western economies, which are much less well-equipped now to deal with another steep price rise than they were in 2007 – 2008.