From Volume 8, Issue 18 of EIR Online, Published May 5, 2009

Global Economic News

Britain: First Quarter UK Job Losses Most in Europe

May 1 (EIRNS)—Fish, it is said, rot from the head. So it is fitting that the home economy of the City of London usury center is leading Europe in job losses during the first quarter. Eurofound, an agency of the European Union, reports that job losses for the 27-nation group in the first quarter totalled 220,000, with 63,330 of those in Britain. Poland followed with 38,975 lost jobs, then Germany with 17,461. The figures do not include full-time workers who are put on half-time.

This is the highest rate of losses in the EU since monitoring began in 2002. And job losses are outstripping the creation of new jobs by three to one, the Daily Telegraph noted.

The auto sector was worst hit, with 32,584 jobs lost, but this does not include the tens of thousands of workers put on half-time. Retail sector lost 21,700 jobs, the financial sector lost 16,778 jobs, and the machinery sector 16,432.

Grim Prospects for German Machine-Builders

April 30 (EIRNS)—German machine-builders expect a drop in output by up to 20% for 2009, the industry association VDMA said in Frankfurt yesterday, in an assessment which corrected rosier forecasts made just four weeks ago. There has been a decline of new orders by 42% during the first quarter of this year, as compared to the first quarter of 2008, but the VDMA still hopes for recovery signals from somewhere, somehow. However, since 75% of all machines produced go into exports, the fact that orders from abroad dropped by 43% in Q1, indicates that more trouble is still to come.

In any case, 25,000 layoffs are already envisaged. Printing and textile machines are the branches worst hit, with some reporting a collapse of orders by 70-80%. That also indicates that even the government's adopting the Spring survey of the chief economic advisory council, which forecast a drop in GDP growth by 6% this year, will have to be corrected. Officially, close to 700,000 Germans were on short-work in March, whereas firms already announced more than twice that number, namely, 1.5 million, for short-work during the same month. The "Springtime recovery" represented a minuscule 1,000 jobs in April this year, further evidence of the deepening of the depression.

Depression Killing German Tax Revenue Base

May 2 (EIRNS)—According to a report on Spiegel's website, an internal memorandum of the German Finance Ministry is forecasting a drastic drop in the national tax revenue of Eu300 billion during the coming four years. This is the effect of less production, trade, consumption, and it contrasts visibly with the "external," i.e., official, propaganda of the government, that the market economy can be expected to rediscover its talents and powers, so that a recovery will arrive sometime in 2010. Eu300 billion is about 40% of an annual tax income of the State.

India's Exports Crashing

May 2 (EIRNS)—The Indian export sector is imploding. Although the sector accounts for just 15% of GDP, some 10 million jobs are endangered, as the market for products like textiles and jewelry dries up in Europe and the United States. Exports were down 33% in March from a year ago, the sixth straight month of contraction, according to government figures published May 1, AFP reported. Imports were down by 34%. Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai said that the decline in exports would go on at least until September. A. Sakthivel, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said there would be "approximately 10 million job losses" in the entire sector.

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