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    Slow Consumer Spending Led to Weak 2011 Petroleum Deliveries

    American Petroleum Institute says December 2011 was the weakest month for deliveries in past 15 years.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Petroleum deliveries to the United States in 2011 experienced their second worst year in the past decade, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said. Petroleum deliveries declined 1.2 percent to about 18.9 million barrels per day last year, compared to the prior year.

    That decline was the worst in the past decade except for 2008, when the global recession eliminated more than $100 from the price of oil per barrel, UPI.com reported.

    Part of the reason behind the weakness in petroleum deliveries was slow consumer spending, John Felmy, API chief economist, told the news outlet.

    "The weakness in gasoline demand in 2011 reflected the overall weakness in consumer spending," Felmy stated. "This carried through the year, with retail sales down in December and gasoline demand slipping more than 4 percent for the month."

    The worst month for gas deliveries in 2011 was December. In fact, last month was the worst for total petroleum deliveries in the past 15 years, noted UPI.com During December, only 18.6 million barrels were delivered per day.

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