WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute, said a December increase in U.S. petroleum deliveries was a sign of a strengthening economy.
"Both demand and production in December showed strong gains over the prior year, reflecting continued progress in domestic manufacturing as well as the broader economy," he said in a statement Thursday.
API said in its monthly report on the U.S. energy sector that petroleum deliveries, which can be used to indicate demand, totaled 19.2 million barrels per day in December, a 5.8 percent increase from the previous year.
Demand for gasoline and other petroleum products followed suit, with all products showing at least a 5.9 percent increase from December 2012.
In terms of crude oil production, API said the December total of 8.1 million bpd was 14.5 percent higher year-on-year and the highest level for any December since 1987.