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IMF says drop in oil prices to persist, help economies

[WASHINGTON] The recent drop in oil prices should persist, helping to boost global economic activity by 0.3 to 0.7 per cent next year, two senior IMF economists wrote in a blog on Monday.

Brent prices have fallen more than 46 per cent since the year's peak in June of above US$115 per barrel, sped up by the November decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) not to reduce production.

"Overall, we see this as a shot in the arm for the global economy," Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist, and Rabah Arezki, the head of the commodities research team, said in the blog, adding that futures markets suggest oil prices will stay lower than levels in previous years.

REUTERS