The OPEC oil cartel raised on Wednesday its world oil demand forecast for 2014 on the back of an increase in US consumption in late 2013 and a "gradual" global economic upswing.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries now expects world demand of 91.1 million barrels per day (mbd) this year, 1.1 mbd more than in 2013, it said in its new monthly report.
Previously OPEC, which produces about 35 percent of the world's oil, had expected demand to grow by 1.09 mbd. For 2013 OPEC also raised its demand estimate to 90.0 mbd from 89.9 mbd in its last monthly report.
US oil consumption showed a "significant increase" in December, and although preliminary weekly data for January and February showed "mixed signals", demand growth stayed "healthy" in January, OPEC said.
After falling in 2013, in Europe there were signs of "stabilisation" in the final quarter, but a fall in demand both there and in the Asia-Pacific region is still expected in 2014, it said.
"The assumption that the global economy will see a gradual recovery in 2014, led by growth acceleration in the major ... economies, remains valid," OPEC said.
"This is despite softening economic indicators at the beginning of the year, particularly in the US and China, which have highlighted some fragility in the on-going momentum."
A "gradual" recovery in the eurozone seems to be on track, it said, while India's economy also appears to be continuing to recover from the low growth levels seen in the past year.