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Friday, November 14, 2008

Man, Oh Man

I keep trying to convince myself that this isn't happening, but it is. German GDP -0.4 Q2, now -0.5 Q3. That pretty much doomed the Euro 15 to fall into recession, and they are. Q2 -0.2, Q3 -0.2. The French did haul out a minimally positive quarter, though!

But that's old news; I've known since early this year that they'd fall. What's disturbing me are items like these:

Mitsui OSK's might be mothballing ships:
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., Japan's most profitable shipping line, may mothball some of its largest vessels for the first time in over two decades as charter rates have fallen 98 percent over the last five months.

The world's largest merchant fleet operator may also scrap seven of its capesize ships, used for transporting iron ore and coal, from a fleet of about 100, Masafumi Yasuoka, senior executive officer at the shipping line, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday.
The Indian manufacturing support businesses are in trouble:
"The outlook is very bleak not just for third and fourth quarter of the current fiscal but also beyond. Our apprehension is that it is going to be a long drawn-out affair," Rajkot Engineering Association (RCA) president Bhavesh Patel said.

RCA has 900-odd small enterprises as its members which are engaged in the production of agricultural equipment, forgings, electric motors, alloy castings, air compressors, industrial fasteners and textile machinery.
The cutback in orders is to the extent of 40%. "We have never faced this kind of situation before. We are trying to assess the impact of the cutback but finding it difficult as order cuts are continuing," Patel said.
China's industrial output growth continues to decelerate, and this week, Sinopec officials said they are cutting refinery processing by 10 percent from July. That's not as bad as it sounds, because they were ramping up then for the Olympics. But it's not a sign of growth. Chinese officials are getting progressively less optimistic. They can talk all they want to about increasing domestic consumption, but that's very hard to do when you have people losing jobs.

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