This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.
economic crisis is claiming another victim: world trade. Last month the World
Bank predicted a two percent decrease this year -- the largest drop since the
Economies that depend on exports for growth have been
hit hard. Japanese exports decreased almost twenty-seven percent in November
from a year earlier. Japan has the world's second largest economy.
A new report this week from China
showed that its economy became the world's third largest in two thousand seven,
passing Germany. China could also pass Germany as the world's biggest exporter.
But Chinese exports fell almost three percent in December from a year earlier
-- the sharpest drop in at least ten years.
A story in the Chinese
news magazine Outlook warned that factory closings could lead to unrest as the
latest reports show that German exports in November were down almost twelve
percent from the year before.
American exports decreased almost two percent in
November from a year earlier. They were down six percent from October -- but imports
were down twelve percent. That reduced the monthly trade deficit to the lowest
level in five years.
has improved in some cases since the financial crisis worsened in September.
But falling demand, including reduced demand for oil, has cut trade around the
world. The International Monetary Fund recently called for government spending,
tax cuts and international cooperation to support growth.
ease credit, the Bank of England last week reduced its main interest rate to
one and one-half percent -- its lowest ever. The bank was established in
sixteen ninety-four. Britain's economy may have shrunk by one percent just in
the final three months of last year. The first estimates are expected at the
end of January.
This week, Germany's
coalition government agreed to an economic aid package worth about sixty-seven
billion dollars. The two-year plan calls for spending on public works and a tax
cut for low-income Germans. Critics considered an earlier measure too small to
fight the recession in Europe's largest economy.
Aides to President-elect Barack Obama
have been negotiating with Congress on a two-year recovery plan for the world's
largest economy. On Wednesday, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York
suggested that the price could reach eight hundred fifty billion dollars.
that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.