Job cuts, bankruptcy fears and faltering Chinese exports provided fresh evidence of a deep and painful recession on Wednesday as dismal economic news mounted around the globe.
In Beijing, official data showed that exports from China fell for the first time in seven years in November as the spreading global economic crisis caught up with the Asian powerhouse.
Elsewhere, Japan received more bad news as a gauge of business investment fell sharply and US investors eyed negotiations between lawmakers on a rescue plan for the vital auto sector that could go to a vote Wednesday.
Senator Carl Levin from Michigan, the base for the US auto industry, said he understood that an “agreement has been reached” between Democratic congressional leaders and the White House.
“This gets us to the 20-yard line, but getting over the goal line will take a major effort,” he said, referring to the vote needed in the US Congress where some Republicans have voiced objections.
Also in North America, the Wall Street Journal reported that Canadian telecoms equipment provider Nortel Networks had sought legal advice for possible bankruptcy and is also trying to secure government aid.
Nortel was examining bankruptcy protection from creditors if restructuring efforts fail amid declining sales and an inability to sell off assets due to the credit crunch, the Journal wrote, citing unnamed sources. Read more here.