Global Plunge Panics Economists

Markets dive worldwide as new figures point to intractable slowdown
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2009 4:13 AM CST
Pedestrians wait for a walk signal in front of an electric market information display in Tokyo last week.    (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)
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(Newser) – The markets' global plunge yesterday was testament to a new, scary fact, writes the Washington Post: the world economic crisis is getting even worse. New figures show the economies of Japan, Britain and Germany contracting at their fastest in decades, while emerging markets like Russia and Brazil are tanking, and unemployment in the US and even China is hitting worrying highs. For economists, the global character of the crisis makes recovery particularly difficult.

"If you go back six months or so, there was a hope that some parts of the world will escape the downturn from the US economy," said one economist in London. "That hope has now faded. We're seeing a downturn in virtually every area of the world."