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Morgan Stanley Says 2012 U.S. Gasoline Demand to Decline

U.S. gasoline demand will probably decline this year after peaking in 2007 amid changes to consumption, Morgan Stanley said in a report.

Demand dropped by as much as 190,000 barrels a day in the first two months of 2012 based on the bank’s calculations, Hussein Allidina, head of commodities research, said today in the e-mailed report. Consumption fell to 8.7 million barrels a day last year from a record 9.3 million barrels in 2007, it said without citing the source of the data.

“This fall is both a result of cyclical and structural factors and see improving fuel efficiency and changing driving patterns as likely limiting gasoline demand growth in the future,” Allidina said in the report.

As crude costs increased, gasoline prices rose, leading to a decline in usage as fewer miles are travelled. Gasoline has gained 25 percent this year on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Demand will fall by 80,000 barrels a day from 2012 to 2017, even as the economy recovers from next year, on improving fuel efficiency from new vehicles, the bank said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at nbakhsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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