Geithner says economy can handle higher oil prices as crude hits $100

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner expressed confidence Wednesday that the world economy can absorb oil-price spikes, comments that came not long before oil prices reached $100 per barrel for the first time since October of 2008 amid unrest in Libya.

But White House press secretary Jay Carney said at a press briefing that the White House is “concerned” about the price levels.

The Treasury Secretary spoke to reporters at a breakfast hosted by Bloomberg.

The Washington Post reports: "Geithner said the dangers to the global economy of disruption to the oil markets are ‘self-evident’ but nonetheless said the challenges are more manageable than many of those that policymakers faced two years ago when global economy began to unravel."

“The world's got a lot of experience in managing the tensions that could come with short-term impact on commodity prices,” he said in the Post account.

Later in the day, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude topped $100 in trading, which Carney addressed at his news briefing, noting that “whenever there's unrest in this part of the world, there are going to be reactions in the markets.”

“We are obviously monitoring this carefully, and we're concerned about it,” Carney said.