The Commerce Department said, US retail sales unexpectedly drop 1.1% in March, 2009. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said that oil inventories rose last week to their highest since 1990. The weekly Department of Energy report of April 15, 2009 will probably show that stockpiles increased to the highest since 1993.

“The fundamentals still don’t suggest any strength,” said Mark Pervan, a senior commodity strategist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Melbourne. “The supply levels are still at really high numbers for crude and that’s unlikely to change with the refinery capacity rates still very low.”

Crude oil is up 10% in 2009 after tumbling 54% in 2008. On April 14, 2009, crude fell 64 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $49.41 a barrel.

The US used an average of 18.9 million barrels a day in the four weeks ended April 3, 2009 down 4.4% from a year earlier, the Energy Department said April 8, 2009 the lowest level since October 2008.

Gross domestic product will contract by 3.8% in North America in 2009, the International Energy Agency said in a report April 10, 2009 dropping an earlier forecast for a recovery in the economy and oil demand in the second half of 2009.