Global oil prices (Brent) have averaged $73.07pb in 2018 and remained comfortably above the budget benchmark of $51 per barrel (pb), largely due to high demand and the output-cut led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies. This has ultimately translated to stronger external buffers with gross external reserves peaking at $47.87bn in May.
Brent oil prices are down 31.8% from a peak of $86.29 in October. Evidently, the Iranian sanctions had a redundant effect/impact on crude prices, as Brent prices have endured a 7-day losing streak since the effective date of the sanctions (November 4). Signs of waning demand and growing supply have weighed on the bullish outlook of this Black Gold.
The concept of a minimum wage is universal and has its origins in the Poor laws of the 18th century Britain, the early days of the industrial revolution. Workers were of the view that capitalists were exploitative. They believed that minimum wage helps mitigate the imbalance of power between employers and low-wage workers. In the absence of a wage floor, employers could take advantage of workers’ vulnerability and weaknesses. This could undermine the purchasing power of low income earners.