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API sees modest decline in gasoline demand

  |   Nov. 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A slump in U.S. consumer demand for gasoline is in part because of market pessimism but the American Petroleum Institute said it saw signs of recovery.

Trade group API said petroleum deliveries in the United States rose 2.5 percent in October compared with the same period in 2010. Gasoline demand, however, declined 0.3 percent.

"Weaker gasoline demand is consistent with the disappointing consumer confidence numbers we're seeing," API chief economist John Felmy said in a statement. "But our economy is growing modestly and the overall demand numbers support that."

API said gasoline inventories in the United States by the end of October were around 207 million barrels of oil equivalent, a three-year low.

The White House last week announced a measure that requires a fuel efficiency equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon for model year 2017-25 passenger cars and trucks.

The Environmental Protection Agency claims the standards would cut domestic oil consumption by 4 million barrels and avoid more than 2 billion tons of greenhouse gases over the lifetime of the model years outlined in the proposal.

Washington already proposed a fuel economy of 35.5 mpg by 2016. Beijing in 2009 had fuel efficiency standards of 35.8 mpg while Europe requires cars by model year 2016 to get 50 mpg.

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