LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N) said on Friday global oil consumption was recovering more quickly than its previous estimates and raised its demand forecast, while maintaining its price outlook.
Goldman said Chinese oil demand has risen to its levels before the global economic recession, which was triggered by financial crisis in the third quarter last year.
“Accordingly, we are raising our demand forecasts,” the bank said in its commodities research note.
“Importantly, the permanent damage from the credit crisis is much less than we had previously thought, which means that we are beginning the recovery from a higher base, suggesting a fourth quarter 2009 demand level that we originally thought would take until the third quarter 2010.”
Goldman now expect global oil demand to average 85.106 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Demand will average 84.727 million bpd this year, a dip from 86.304 million bpd last year, then rise to 86.405 million bpd next year, it said.
The bank maintained its oil price forecast because the higher demand will be met by an increase in supplies, especially the former Soviet Union producers.
It expects U.S. crude futures CLc1 will reach $85 barrel by the end of this year and average $90 in 2010.
Goldman’s note came as U.S. crude futures have fallen about 8 percent this week due to a spreading doubt among investors that demand may not have been recovering strongly enough.
Reporting by Ikuko Kurahone; Editing by Victoria Main