By Chen Aizhu
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China National Aviation Fuel Group on Saturday launched the country’s first aviation fuel consumption index aimed at providing a fresh gauge for the regional and national economic health of the world’s second-largest economy.
After stellar growth for decades, China, the world’s second largest consumer after the United States, is seeing its aviation fuel demand growth slipping in the last few years as the economy expands less rapidly and more people travel by high speed rail.
“The aviation fuel index will become a good reflection of the consumption trend and a precursor of major events like an economic crisis,” CNAF, the country’s near monopoly distributor of jet fuel, said in a release.
China is estimated to consume a total of 35 million tonnes of jet fuel this year, Gong Feng, vice president of CNAF, told a seminar.
That’s about 7 percent higher than last year, but down from 9 percent growth the previous year, said a second company executive who declined to be named as not authorized to speak to media.