Oil demand outlook depends more than usual on politics

Forecasts of global demand for oil, always sensitive to economic fate, weather, and geopolitical surprise, are especially fragile this year. Economic growth depends extraordinarily much on another wild variable: politics. In its World Economic Outlook in October, the International Monetary Fund predicted economic growth in 2013 of 3.6%, saying the outlook depended on financial reform in Europe and the US. For Europe, the IMF prescribed banking union, among other things, as essential to restoration of the euro. In December, authorities centralized supervision of large eurozone banks. And for the US, the IMF in October called for resolution of the budgetary impasse then pushing the country ...

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