Oil prices decreased on Thursday after weak economic data in the US sparked recession fears. International benchmark Brent crude traded at $84.61 per barrel at 10.08 a.m. local time (0708 GMT), a 0.45% drop from the closing price of $84.99 a barrel in the previous trading session. At the same time, American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $80.22 per barrel, a 0.48% fall after the previous session closed at $80.61 a barrel. Disappointing private jobs figures in the US hinted at a possible recession that would lower oil demand in the world’s largest oil-consuming country. The American private sector added 145,000 jobs in March, coming in much lower than expectations of an increase of 200,000. Economic activity in the US services sector expanded in March for a third consecutive month, but the rate of growth slowed. The non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 51.2%, 3.9 percentage points lower than February’s reading of 55.1%. Meanwhile, a drop in US crude stocks prevented further price falls. US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 3.7 million barrels to 470 million barrels during the week ending March 31, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) late Wednesday. Inventories fell against the market expectation of a decrease of 1.8 million barrels.