Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Battering for Asia as Recession Fears Grow

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Battering for Asia as Recession Fears Grow

Article excerpt

Byline: RAY HEATH

ASIAN markets were again battered today by fears that the region's economies will lurch into recession as a slump in US consumer spending drags it down in the aftermath of last week's terrorist attacks.

A gloomy report from the Bank of Japan virtually confirmed economists' warnings that the country was now in its fourth recession in a decade.

For the fourth consecutive month, the bank downgraded its assessment of the economy, which had shrunk by 0.8% in the second quarter. It said falling exports were cutting into production, raising unemployment and lowering income expectations.

Consumer confidence in Japan is already at a record low. The bank's report said: "The adjustment in economic activity, starting from the decline in exports, is expected to have a negative impact on domestic demand gradually.

This in turn will possibly prolong the ongoing adjustment."

Further concerns about the economic outlook were voiced by Economics Minister Heizo Takenaka, who said prospects had been dimmed by the possible impact of the terrorist strike in the US and a slowing in the global information technology sector. …

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