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International Energy Agency forecasts weak 0.9 percent growth in 2013 global oil demand

PARIS -- The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast on Wednesday that global demand for oil would grow at a weak pace of 0.9 percent this year amid uncertainty generated by the U.S. budget negotiations, slower-than-anticipated Chinese business activity and chronically high unemployment in Europe.

The IEA's estimated nominal growth figure of 820,000 barrels per day contrasted with average growth in demand of 1.4 million b/d in non-recessionary years, a monthly report said.

“The macroeconomic environment underpinning oil demand, as of yet, shows little sign of short-term improvement,” the report said.

“A string of recent developments, including the U.S. sequester, worsening Chinese business sentiment and continued deterioration in European employment lend support to the IEA's demand growth forecast,” it added.

Global supply inched up in February meanwhile by 90,000 barrels per day to 90.8 million barrels per day, owing in large part to higher OPEC output that resulted from increased Iraqi oil supply the agency said.

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