RTTNews - Monday, International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky said the recent increase in oil prices indicates that the worst of the recession may be easing. He also said global oil demand is expected to recover only gradually.

Oil prices climbed to about US$60 per barrel recently, almost double their level in December. The increase reflects a general improvement in sentiment on signs that the sharpest period of decline in the global economy is over, Lipsky said in Rome, addressing a gathering of G8 energy ministers.

Prices also rose on expectations that the contraction in oil demand may bottom out soon, he added.

The IMF official urged policy makers to find ways to reduce oil price volatility and its impacts on the global economy.

Further, he said oil investments are expected to decline in 2009 and are likely to remain subdued in 2010.

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