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A series of economic recession

British Economy Down

In stark confirmation that Britain is in the grip of recession, Government statistics showed on Wednesday that the economy fell by 1.2 percent in the third quarter. It was the biggest fall since 1980. The decline in gross domestic product, which measures the total value of goods and services produced in the period, compared with a rise of four-tenths of a percent in the second quarter. The most widely accepted definition of recession is two consecutive quarters of economic decline. Economists widely predict that the fourth quarter will also show a contraction.

18-08-2008: KLCI down 7.64 points at midday

PETALING JAYA: Local stocks ended midday lower as concerns about higher inflation taking a toll on the economy as well as sliding crude palm oil (CPO) futures won over any upbeat sentiments on the slide in crude oil prices in recent weeks.

The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index ended midday at 1,087.41 points, down 7.64 points, or 0.7%, dragged lower by declines at Sime Darby Bhd, KNM Group Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.

Sime Darby fell 20 sen to RM6.45, KNM slid 18 sen, or 10.98%, to RM1.46 while Gamuda dipped 19 sen to RM2.83. The trio collectively accounted for 4.19 points, or 55%, of the KLCI’s decline at midday. KNM is down for a third straight day today as investors trimmed positions on speculations that the company may incur higher costs for its takeover of German components maker Borsig GmbH, Bloomberg newswire reported this morning.

Japan’s economy contracts in April-June quarter

Japan appears to be sinking into recession, government data showed Wednesday, the latest sign that the global economic slowdown is worsening among the world’s biggest economies.

“The numbers were awful,” Hideo Kumano, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo, said after the Japanese government reported that the nation’s gross domestic product shrank at an annual 2.4 percent rate in the three months through June 30. “Things are going to be very tough in the second half of the year.”

Even as commodity prices are beginning to ease, the twin credit and housing crises in the United States, coupled with the highest inflation in a generation, are weighing on consumers around the world.

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