OPEC Trims 2012 World Oil Demand Forecast

In its October monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, cited the weak global economy as cause for lowering its forecast for world oil demand by 100,000 barrels to 800,000 barrels a day this year. The organization left its 2013 growth forecast unchanged at 800,000 barrels a day.

OPEC's projections for global oil consumption continue to be influenced by uncertainties facing the world economy and slower industrial production that has sharply reduced demand in both the United States and China. The winter outlook presents further uncertainties as well.

OPEC revised its forecast for world economic growth in 2012 down to 3.1% from its previous 3.3%. The deceleration is expected to bottom out in the current quarter, and the forecast for 2013 remains at 3.2%. Expansion in the U.S. remains below potential at 2.2% in 2012 and 2.0% in 2013. The eurozone is expected to contract 0.5% this year and then grow at 0.1% in 2013. The forecast for China indicates 7.6% expansion in 2012 and 8.0% in the following year.

According to the report:

World oil demand growth for next year is subject to considerable uncertainty, due primarily to the on-going challenges in the world economy. Hence, the forecast oil demand growth has a downside risk, especially in the first half of the year. The risk is attributed not only to OECD but also to China and India as well. The current unclear economic picture is making next year's oil demand growth forecast a challenging task, not only due to GDP assessments, but also affected by retail petroleum prices, and possible abnormal weather.

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