Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Measuring the Slump

The US took the whole world down with its financial crisis. This isn't to say that the rest of the world was an innocent victim. Other countries had taken on financial risk when their banks leveraged beyond what was rational.

Here's a bit from a post on Calculated Risk that shows how bad the downturn has been:
Britain's economy fell last year at the sharpest rate since 1921, despite hopes that it finally emerged from recession in the last three months of the year, according to a respected economics forecaster.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said today that its latest estimate showed that GDP rose by a modest 0.3 per cent in the final three months of 2009 compared with the third quarter.

That means that, for the year as a whole, the economy contracted by 4.8 per cent, a bigger fall than in any year of the Great Depression and the biggest contraction for 88 years.
And this:
The German economy shrank in 2009 for the first time in six years. With –5.0%, the decline in the price-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) was larger than ever since World War II. This is shown by first calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The economic slump occurred mainly in the winter half-year of 2008/2009. Over the year, there were signs that the economic development would slightly stabilise on the new, lower level.
And the US was hit badly too. This if from another post on Calculated Risk:
From the Association of American Railroads: Rail Time Indicators. AAR reports that "2009 saw total carload traffic on U.S. railroads at its lowest levels since at least 1988, when the AAR’s data series began."

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