Special Series on Fiscal Policies to Respond to COVID-19 – Fiscal Policy Responses to the Sharp Decline in Oil Prices (IMF)

Oil prices have declined sharply as a result of both global demand contraction and supply increase. The urgent priority for oil exporters is to deploy existing financial buffers, reprioritize spending, and mobilize new borrowing to address the COVID-19-shock. This short-term policy response would be enhanced by a commitment to preserve fiscal sustainability in the medium term. Once the pandemic has subsided, oil exporters would need to prepare for a prolonged period of low oil prices. A credible fiscal framework is essential to support a strategy of easing policy over the short run and a gradual consolidation over the medium term, particularly for exporters with limited fiscal space. A long-term fiscal anchor, linked to the sustainability objective, should guide the setting of medium and short-term fiscal targets, while the fiscal path should also ensure accumulation of adequate stabilization savings to mitigate the impact of future shocks. To read the full brief, refer to the IMF website.