(Updates with settlement price in sixth paragraph.)
Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Oil may rise next week on speculation that stronger economic growth will boost demand, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Eighteen of 36 analysts, or 50 percent, forecast crude will increase through Feb. 1. Eleven respondents, or 31 percent, predicted a drop. Seven said there would be little change. Last week, 39 percent of analysts projected a gain.
Futures gained yesterday for the fifth time in six days after the Labor Department said applications for unemployment insurance fell 5,000 to 330,000 in the week ended Jan. 19, the fewest since the same week in 2008. China’s manufacturing is expanding at the fastest rate in two years, according to the preliminary reading of the Purchasing Managers’ Index.
“The economy is looking better in the U.S. and in Asia,” said Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics LLC, an Austin, Texas-based energy consultant. “All the economic data is pointing higher oil prices. Stronger growth is positive for crude oil prices next week.”
Petroleum consumption climbed 3.9 percent in the week ended Jan. 18 to 18.6 million barrels a day, the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, reported yesterday. Gasoline demand grew 1.3 percent to 8.43 million barrels a day.
Oil rose 32 cents, or 0.3 percent, this week to settle at $95.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have increased 4.4 percent this year.
The oil survey has correctly predicted the direction of futures 50 percent of the time since its start in April 2004.
Bloomberg’s survey of oil analysts and traders, conducted
each Thursday, asks for an assessment of whether crude oil
futures are likely to rise, fall or remain neutral in the coming
week. The results were:
RISE NEUTRAL FALL
18 7 11
--With assistance from Grant Smith in London, Christian Schmollinger, Yee Kai Pin, Winnie Zhu, and Ann Koh in Singapore and Jacob Adelman in Tokyo. Editors: Richard Stubbe, Bill Banker