The price of oil continued its descent today, settling at $42.07 a barrel amid new signs of collapsing demand worldwide, the Financial Times reports. Global consumption will shrink by 50,000 barrels a day in 2008 and by a whopping 450,000 barrels a day in 2009, the Energy Department says. Meanwhile, prices aren't expected to return to the sky-high levels of this summer for the foreseeable future.
The drop in global demand in consecutive years will be the first such decline in 30 years, and US consumption alone is expected to drop to an 11-year low next year. The World Bank said the commodities boom of the past five years has "come to an end." It said the price of oil might increase to $75 a barrel over the next three years.