Even in car-happy Germany, the trend towards higher fuel prices is having a dampening effect. According to the latest figures released in Hamburg by the Association of the German Petroleum Industry (MWV), the demand for gasoline decreased by 4.9 percent last year to 25.9 tonnes. For the current year, the association said it expects a further 2 percent decrease in petrol sales. Diesel sales dipped 2.4 percent last year, but petroleum industry experts are expecting a three percent increase in sales this year as economic recovery puts more vehicles back on the road. The MWV said it blames China and the U.S. for the current oil and gas prices, which have reached their highest level since the 1990 Kuwait crisis.