Sunday, November 16, 2008

Europe, Japan Recessions Confirmed

by Bill McBride on 11/16/2008 07:08:00 PM

From The Independent: It's official: eurozone collapses into its first recession

Europe's economy officially collapsed into recession for the first time since its inception during the third quarter ... The eurozone, made up of the 15 countries that use the euro as their primary currency, shrank by 0.2 percentage points between July and the end of September, having contracted by the same margin during the preceding three months as well. ...

Germany and Italy, the continent's largest and fourth largest economies, dragged the eurozone down – both slipped into recession during the third quarter. Spain also suffered its first quarter of negative growth in 15 years. However, France just managed to maintain a positive growth rate.
From Bloomberg: Japan's Economy Shrinks 0.4%, Confirming Recession
Japan's economy, the world's second largest, contracted more than economists expected in the third quarter, confirming it entered its first recession since 2001 as companies cut back spending.

Gross domestic product fell an annualized 0.4 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30 ...
The U.S. is already in a recession too, although the NBER still hasn't called the start date. From the NBER:
The committee places particular emphasis on two monthly measures of activity across the entire economy: (1) personal income less transfer payments, in real terms and (2) employment.
It is close - and subject to revision - but based on these measures I think the NBER will decide the U.S. recession started in Dec '07 or Jan '08.