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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

G8 Says High Oil Prices Curb Growth

POTSDAM, Germany -- Finance ministers from the Group of Eight said higher oil prices are a threat to the global economy's best performance in more than three decades.

"Risks for the outlook have abated, but high and volatile energy prices remain a concern and we will remain vigilant,'' the G8 said today in a statement after a two-day meeting in Potsdam, Germany. "Global growth remains robust and it is more balanced across regions and within our countries.''

Oil prices have risen by almost one-fifth in the past four months. Sunday's statement contrasts with the communique from the G8 meeting in February, which expressed optimism about "lower'' energy prices, and from the last month's meeting, which made no reference to their impact on the economy.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbr?ck chaired the gathering of officials from France, Canada, the United States, Britain, Japan, Italy and Russia, which included U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt and British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. Central bankers did not attend and the statement made no reference to currencies.

The price of oil was $64.94 per barrel May 18, up from around $50 per barrel in January.

Steinbr?ck said he was optimistic that the global economy is becoming less dependent on the United States for growth and is less at risk from lopsided flows in trade and investment.

Global imbalances "aren't our main concern at the moment because we're dealing with an excellent economic development,'' he said in an interview. "We're not underestimating certain risks, but they're not as important today as they were two or three years ago.''

Growth in the 13-nation euro region and Japan is helping to compensate for a slowdown in the United States, and China said Saturday that it was widening the yuan's trading band amid trade tensions with the United States.

The International Monetary Fund said last month the euro region's economy would expand 2.3 percent in 2007 and outpace the United States for the first time since 2001.