The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Helaway Tadesse, Mark Lewis, Jörg Zeuner, James John, Luzmaria Monasi, and Paolo Dudine
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper examines the impact of the 2003-05 oil price increase on the balance of payments positions and IMF financing needs of low-income country oil importers. It finds that stronger exports reflecting favorable global conditions, a compression of oil import volumes due to the pass-through of world prices to domestic consumers, and a large increase in capital inflows helped low-income countries cope with the oil price shock. Preliminary data suggest that reductions in oil import volumes have not harmed growth. While fiscal balances generally improved, quasi-fiscal liabilities may be building. Lower demand for IMF assistance may reflect broader trends, but further oil price increases could put pressure on additional countries in 2006 and beyond.