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IEA ups crude forecast

Jun 12, 2009

Various agencies across the world have been busy revising their forecasts for their respective industries as encouraging economic data and reports suggesting that the world has passed its toughest phase have been floating around. The energy sector is the latest to join the bandwagon.

Source: CNN
Yesterday, the world's premium energy advisor, the International Energy Agency (IEA) marginally raised its global crude oil forecast on signs that the economic slowdown is lessening. It may be noted that this is the first time it has done so in ten months. However, it has also stated that this revision does not necessarily mean that the global economy is recovering, and that they may signal the bottoming out of the recession. The agency has revised its estimates for the year, predicting consumption to increase by 120,000 barrels a day over the previous forecast, taking the total to 83.3 m barrels a day. Further, it believes that countries such as the USA and China will drive demand. However, it also added that consumption worldwide will contract by 2.9% from last year.

Crude prices have been flirting with the US$ 70 a barrel mark in the past few days. Yesterday, after the IEA's report was published, crude prices crossed the US$ 72 a barrel mark for the first time in seven months.

Credit cards continue to be trimmed down

As per the latest data released by the RBI, nearly 332,000 credit cards were taken out of circulation in the month of April 2009. Currently, the total figure stands at about 24.4 m. It may be noted that nearly 3 m cards were taken out during FY09.

Apart from rising delinquencies, another reason behind this is to reduce costs which banks have to bear in the form of billing and postage charges. In addition, there is a risk that such cards will be used as a last resort when the customer is faced with financial troubles. However, going forward, experts believe the scenario will improve as the economy is improving.

It may be noted that issuers went all out to hand out cards to customers who never really needed or ended up using the cards during the boom phase.

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