IEA affirms forecast for rising oil demand

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PARIS (AP) — The International Energy Agency on Friday held steady its forecast for world oil demand this year, predicting a rebound in consumption led largely by developing economies in Asia.

The Paris-based IEA, which advises oil-consuming countries, predicted in its monthly report that oil demand will average 86.3 million barrels a day this year, or 1.4 million barrels a day more than in 2009.

That was unchanged from the IEA’s previous report in December. The estimate for 2009 was also unchanged at 84.9 million barrels a day, the IEA said.

“Growth is driven by non-OECD countries, most notably in Asia,” the report said. It forecast oil demand recovery in the industrialized countries will remain sluggish, despite a recent cold snap that has lifted energy demand.