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High Oil Prices Tough on U.S. Economy, Bush Says

Reuters
Tuesday, 15 Jan 2008 | 4:27 AM ET

U.S. President George W. Bush said on Tuesday oil prices were "very high" and tough for the U.S. economy to bear.

He said he would discuss the issue with the king of OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia. Oil prices are around $95 a barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries should keep in mind the effect of high energy costs on the economy when it considers output policy, Bush said during a visit to Saudi
Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter.

"I would hope that as OPEC considers different production levels that they understand that if .... one of the biggest consumers' economy suffers it means less purchases, less oil and gas sold," Bush said at a round table meeting with entrepreneurs.

Bush said he would talk to the Saudi king later on Tuesday "about the fact that oil prices are very high, which is tough on our economy."

Several OPEC officials have said the group's ability to tame oil prices that have reached $100 per barrel was limited.

The group would raise oil output if needed at meetings on Feb. 1 and March 5, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri told Reuters on Monday. Supply was sufficient for now, he said, and he attributed rising prices to speculation.

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