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Even higher fuel costs seen

Despite a decrease in US energy consumption and the discovery of new oil fields in the Western world, energy costs will continue to be a major problem in 1981, according to a survey of purchasing managers by Purchasing World magazine.

The survey showed that buyers expect the average energy increase to be around 15 percent with increases in electricity predicted to range from 8 to 20 percent , fuel oil from 7 to 20 percent, coal 8 to 10 percent, and natural gas 8 to 14 percent.

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"Electricity, natural gas, and other energy costs have been rising twice as fast as the average raw material or component part and I see nothing on the immediate horizon that suggests any meaningful improvement," said the purchasing director of one energy intensive firm.

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