The surpluses of the oil exporters

Quarterly Bulletin 1980 Q2
Published on 01 June 1980

This article records developments since 1973 in the balance of payments of the major; oil-exporting countries, and describes how the surpluses have been deployed.

Since December 1974, about a year after a sharp increase in oil prices, the Bulletin has recorded developments in the surpluses of the major oil-exporting countries, including the way in which they have been deployed. This monitoring, quarter by quarter, has concentrated each time on the most recent events. Now, six years after the first large oil price increase and soon after another such rise, it seems worth describing developments over the longer perspective. This article does so in a purely factual way: the factors affecting the surplus are analysed within a balance of payments framework, and a brief description is given of the way in which the surplus has been invested. Some of the material has not previously been published by the Bank. No attempt is made here to draw conclusions about the wider implications of these developments for the world economy.

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