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Energy group API sees weak economy

Aug. 20, 2012 at 8:52 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Uncertainty in the European economy and a weak U.S. recovery are contributing factors to slumping U.S. petroleum demand, trade group API said.

U.S. petroleum deliveries, which are an indication of demand, declined 2.7 percent to around 18 million barrels per day in July, the lowest level for the month since 1995, reports the American Petroleum Institute.

API Chief Economist John Felmy said that while indicators like retail sales and housing suggest there is some economic recovery in the United States, there was pressure from the global market.

"Unfortunately, achieving robust growth will likely continue to be an uphill climb given the nation's fiscal challenges, business uncertainty and a European economy in jeopardy of sliding back into recession," he said in a statement.

Gasoline demand, the trade group said, was following the general trend of decline. Total petroleum demand for 2012 was down 2.3 percent compared with the same time last year.

Overall production of petroleum products, however, was greater than U.S. domestic demand. Crude oil production for July reached 6.23 million bpd, the highest domestic level for the month since 1998.

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