China consuming world's oil, IEA says

Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:54 AM

PARIS, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The International Energy Agency reports from Paris the Chinese economy accounted for some of the increase in global oil demand.

The IEA in its monthly market report said it expected the global economy to consume 90.8 million barrels of oil per day in 2013, an increase of 1 percent compared to 2012.

"A raised 4Q12 demand estimate and heightened expectations for China are the main contributors to the hike," the agency stated.

The IEA said in an assessment early this week that the country is emerging as a refining center. Domestic and international investments in the oil sector, meanwhile, are increasing along with the country's energy demands.

The report comes as China's National Bureau of Statics revealed that economic expansion slowed to 7.8 percent last year, a level the official Xinhua news agency said was the slowest since 1999. Growth during the fourth quarter of 2012, however, was up 0.2 percent to 7.6 percent, which ended seven straight quarters of declines.

Wang Ju, an economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, tells Xinhua that 4Q growth was attributable to government programs.

"Government stimulus measures introduced since early 2012 have produced results," he said.

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