Oil Demand Dips to Lowest Level Since 1995 in July

Do you want an indicator of how well, or in this case, how bad our economy is doing?  Then take a look at yesterday’s report from the American Oil Institute.

WASHINGTON, August 17, 2012 – Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) fell 2.7 percent in July to just above 18 million barrels per day. This is the lowest July level since 1995 and the lowest level for any month since September 2008. Total petroleum demand for the year to date was down 2.3 percent.

Gasoline demand fell more, down 2.2 percent from June and down 3.8 percent from July a year ago to the lowest July level since 1997. Demand for other major products also declined except distillates, which increased 4.9 percent, driven by strong ultra-low sulfur diesel deliveries.

“While retail sales for July are up and housing has improved, the weak petroleum demand numbers are a strong indication the economy is still faltering,” said API chief economist John Felmy. “Unfortunately, achieving robust growth will likely continue to be an uphill climb given the nation’s fiscal challenges, business uncertainty, and a European economy in jeopardy of sliding back into recession.”

At nearly $4 a gallon, something of course has to give.

Leave a Comment