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IEA raises oil demand

PARIS, Sep 10 – The International Energy Agency raised its forecasts for global oil demand in 2009 and 2010 on Thursday largely because of stronger-than-expected economic data from China and the United States.

The forecasts went up nearly 0.5 million barrels per day for both 2009 and 2010 to 84.4 mb/d and 85.7 mb/d respectively, the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly oil market report, but warned that the economic recovery would be slow.

"There is growing evidence that the global economy may be finally stabilising, with industrial destocking coming to an end, coupled with the effects of large-scale government intervention," the IEA report said.

"However, despite these upward adjustments, demand is poised to remain weak in the OECD for the remainder of this year, while the underlying strength of non-OECD demand has been obscured by massive stock building in China," it said.

The IEA also warned of the prospect of a fresh bout of recession next year.

"The spectre of a double-dip, \’W-shaped\’ recession, which would undermine oil demand growth next year, cannot be entirely discounted," the report said.

Experts have warned that the winding down of government stimulus programmes and rising unemployment could drag economies back into recession.

The report, written before a meeting of the OPEC oil producers cartel in Vienna on Wednesday, also correctly foresaw that the oil producers cartel would agree to keep output steady amid signs of a brighter economic outlook.

OPEC members held oil output but expressed "grave concern" that recovery from the economic downturn crippling energy demand would be slow and uncertain.

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"While there are signs that economic recovery is on the way, there remained grave concern about the magnitude and pace of this recovery, especially in the major industrialised nations of the OECD," OPEC said in its closing statement.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) groups together 30 of the world\’s most developed economies but does not include major emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India and Russia.

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