Mounting signs of an economic slowdown and a ramping up of the U.S.-China trade war have caused global oil demand to grow at its slowest pace since the financial crisis of 2008, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.
“The situation is becoming even more uncertain … global oil demand growth has been very sluggish in the first half of 2019,” the IEA said in its monthly report.
The Paris-based agency said that compared with the same month in 2018, global demand fell by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May – the second year-on-year fall of 2019.
From January to May, oil demand increased by 520,000 bpd, marking the lowest rise for that period since 2008.
“The prospects for a political agreement between China and the United States on trade have worsened. This could lead to reduced trade activity and less oil demand growth,” the IEA said.