The world oil market could be set for a lengthy slowdown, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, signalling a sharp shift in the climate that pushed the oil price to $100 last month. "Just as the demand shock of 2004 shaped the oil market for the next three years, so too could the pending slowdown," the IEA said in its monthly review of oil trends.
President Nicolas Sarkozy's talk of creating a new growth and well-being index for France is part of a mounting global campaign that many economists believe will shape civilisation and democracy in the 21st century. Sarkozy presented his recruitment of Nobel prize-winning economists Jospeh Stiglitz and Amartya Sen to work on a quality-of-life index.
Tax collectors from 39 countries around the world meeting in an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development-sponsored conference on Friday agreed to support a further conference specifically on taxation in Africa. The conference will be hosted by the South African Revenue Service, and will take place in May this year.
Talks are under way to explore the possibility of South Africa being invited to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- the so-called "rich man's club" of nations. The 30 OECD countries have already given the green light for the start of accession talks with five prospective new members.
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said on Thursday that he did not have any concerns about the direction fiscal policy might take following the victory of Jacob Zuma at the African National Congress's leadership conference in Polokwane last month. He said fears about fiscal policy were just so much hype.
Oil prices jumped to a new trading record above $98 a barrel on Wednesday amid expectations of declining United States supplies. The weak dollar and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries's apparent reluctance to pump more crude into the market also boosted prices.