You Got Your Troubles, I Got Mine

November 14, 2008

Data released this week underscored the universality of economic difficulty. Here’s a sampling:

  • Japanese core machinery orders plunged 35.6% at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate in the third quarter, and industrial output dropped by 5.1% saar. Consumer confidence hit a 5-1/2 year low last month. Japanese exports in the first 20 days of October were 9.9% lower than a year earlier.
  • Negative third-quarter GDP growth was confirmed in Germany, Italy, Spain and (for a second straight quarter) Euroland as a whole. Euroland’s GDP drop in 4Q probably will exceed those in 2Q and 3Q combined. Germany’s top economic advisors project optimistically zero growth in 2009. On-year growth in 3Q08 was already as low as 0.9% in Spain, 0.8% in Germany, 0.6% in France, -0.9% in Italy, and 0.7% in Euroland as a whole.
  • Retail sales volume in Ireland fell 5.6% in 3Q, the most since 2Q83.
  • European new car sales plunged 14.5% y/y in October, the sixth drop in a row.
  • British unemployment climbed to its highest level since 4Q97, and the Bank of England sees GDP falling at a 2% rate early next year. Same-store sales in the U.K. recorded the biggest monthly decline since May 2005.
  • Canadian factory sales dropped 3.6% between July and September. New orders fell 5.2% over those two months.
  • Australian business confidence hit a record low. Real retail sales in New Zealand fell 0.9% in 3Q from 2Q and by 3.6% from the third quarter of 2007.
  • Turkish industrial production was at a 7-year low.
  • U.S. new jobless claims surpassed a half million last week. Retail sales plunged 2.8% in October, their greatest monthly drop since 1992. This was the fourth drop in a row. Between July and September, U.S. exports and imports fell by 7.6% and 7.7%.
  • On-year growth in Chinese industrial production slowed to 8.2% in October from 15.2% in January-September.



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