Global Slowdown: Even Germany And Japan Are Taking Hits

Just how badly are overseas economies faring? The Conference Board reports that its "international economic scoreboard" for November indicates that leading indexes of the major industrial nations have stopped rising--raising the risks of a global recession. And international economist William Sterling of Merrill Lynch notes that since last spring, total industrial output of the Group of Seven nations has been declining from its year-earlier level.

Meanwhile, the economy of western Germany contracted at a 2% annual rate in the second quarter, and the Japan Center for Economic Research says that the Japanese economy will post a 1.5% annual drop in the third quarter. "The global picture," says Sterling, "is increasingly that of a 'single scoop' recession, led by the Anglo-Saxon nations and now joined by Japan and Germany."

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