The sharpest slowdown since the 2008/2009 recession hit U.S. manufacturers and freight carriers last year and filtered in into significant declines in energy consumption.
Industrial customers have all experienced significant reductions or, in the nine months ended in September 2019, a sharp downturn in the use of electricity, natural gas, and gasoline.
According to statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the total energy consumption of industries fell by 1 percent between July and September compared with the same period the year before.
The slowdown in production and transport also affected petroleum needs, especially the use of middle distillation fuel oil as diesel by producers, railway companies and trucking companies.
Unlike electricity consumption, distillery consumption closely tracks industrial production and output surveys, so the drop-in fuel consumption suggests that manufacturing activities were seriously affected by the mid-2010 period.
The slowdown in refining activity and the reduced profitability for many refining companies, including some oil majors, has reflected slackening distillate demand.
The slowdown in manufacturing and freight in Europe and Asia was even worse as increasing tariffs and increased business instability impacted production and industry.
The result was a global slump in distillation consumption which affected refinements in North America, Europe, and Asia, with margins and profits for refineries.
This year, most dealer companies expect to increase the cyclical consumption of oil and electricity, as automotive and freight industries have slowed down last year.
The U.S. and China have announced a first phase trade agreement aimed at cutting tariffs, reducing taxation and creating a more stable business climate.
In the last 6-9 months, the U.S. Federal Reserve and other primary central banks have reduced interest rates and offered other credit incentives for the extension of the business cycle.
And with the United States coming in a presidential election year and European governments try to boost unbelievable growth, fiscal policy is likely to become more expansive.