Global Oil Demand to Fall for First Time in 25 Years

The International Energy Agency is predicting global oil demand will shrink in 2008 for the first time in 25 years as rich economies sink into recession and growth slows in developing countries.

The Paris-based agency is also cutting its forecast for global oil demand next year.

The agency says in its closely watched monthly oil market report released Thursday that the world will have consumed 85.8 million barrels of oil a day this year. That is 350,000 barrels a day less than the agency forecast last month.

In percentage terms, oil demand in 2008 is expected to drop 0.2 percent from 2007. The agency says that would represent the first drop in demand since 1983.