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IEA predicts Chinese oil demand fall

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its March monthly report that China’s oil demand fell 6.9% year on year in the first two months of 2009, and this was “fresh evidence of the country’s discernible economic slowdown amid the shuttering of export-oriented manufacturing plants.” The two-month decline, combined with a slight downwards adjustment to the forecast for China’s 2009 gross domestic product (GDP), had been the reasons for the change in the countryโ€™s oil demand, the IEA said. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its forecast for China’s 2009 economic growth to 6.3%, from the 8% it projected in November 2008. According to the IEA, the downward spiral in Chinese oil demand also stemmed from uncertainty about the effectiveness of the government’s fiscal stimulus packages. The IEA noted that its data, which showed a 0.3% growth in China’s February oil demand and a 10.4% decline in January, were distorted by the date of the Lunar New year holidays, which can fall in either of those two monthsโ€”in 2009 it was in January. (April 10, 2009)