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Europe could save on energy imports

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The European Union could save up to $80 billion (50.21 billion pounds) in energy imports if oil prices remain low. The price of oil has dropped over a quarter since the summer to below $85 per barrel, a level last seen in June 2010.

Energy imports for oil, natural gas and thermal coal cost the European Union around $500 billion in 2013, with three quarters of that being spent to buy oil: this year’s figure could fall by almost $25 billion to around $485 billion, and if oil prices average below $90 a barrel next year, the overall import bill could fall as low as $425 billion, over $80 billion less than paid by the EU for imports in 2013.

While headline inflation rates could be pushed lower, households and energy-intensive industries in countries that rely on oil imports will find their costs reduced, which will raise at the margin their ability to spend and invest.