High oil prices could 'strangle' global recovery

The high oil price could "strangle" efforts to get the global economy back on its feet and may also hamper Asia's ability to help the West exit its crisis, the International Energy Agency's chief economist warned yesterday. The IEA's Fatih Birol said the world economy was in a more fragile state now than during the crisis of 2008-2009, when oil prices were lower.

"I believe oil prices are well-positioned today to strangle the economic recovery efforts," he said, adding that Europe was especially at risk, but that it could also turn into a major problem for energy-hungry Asia. "It is a major risk for the slowdown (of) the economic growth in Asian countries which were the countries which brought usout of the financial crisis in 2008," Mr Birol said.