U.S. energy figures show patchy economy

June 21, 2013 at 6:47 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 21 (UPI) -- There are still some "yellow flags out there" in the U.S. economy based on a review of demand for petroleum products, the American Petroleum Institute said.

API said gasoline demand for May declined 3.3 percent to average 8.7 million barrels per day for the month. Consumers in the U.S. Midwest experienced a late spring price spike because of regional refinery problems. Demand is expected to increase, however, during the summer driving season.

For petroleum products in general, API said deliveries, a measure of demand, declined 1.1 percent for May when compared to the previous month. The average delivery of 18.5 million bpd was one of the lowest recorded for the month in 15 years.

"The economy continues to show signs of modest growth, but there are still some yellow flags out there," API Chief Economist John Felmy said Thursday. "Despite some gains in employment and retail sales last month, demand for oil and gasoline did not keep pace."

Crude oil production, meanwhile, was above 7 million bpd for the seventh straight month. The 7.3 million bpd average for May was the highest for the month in more than two decades.

Imports of crude oil fell to their lowest level for May in 17 years, declining nearly 10 percent year-on-year to 10.1 million bpd.

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