(EnergyAsia, January 30 2012, Monday) — The global economy is decelerating as shown by the 300,000 b/d decline in oil demand in the fourth quarter of 2011 that could spill over into this year, said the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This is the first quarterly decline in world oil use since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008.

As a consequence, the IEA said it has trimmed its forecast for this year’s global oil demand growth to 1.07 million b/d compared with 1.26 million b/d in its previous forecast last month.

The London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) affirmed the IEA’s reading that this could be “a sign of things to come” largely because a quarterly decline has been recorded only nine times over the last 10 years.

“We believe that the effect of weak economic growth and high oil prices on oil demand in 2012 is likely to be more pronounced than either the IEA or OPEC contends.

Since July 2011 our forecasts of incremental global oil demand have been consistently lower than the predictions of both organisations,” it said.