World Demand Collapse, Bonds Next

Anyone following the economic news in recent months has to be stunned at the declining economic activity. Japan had a 16% drop in machine orders for November. US car sales down 30 to 40%. Even world car leader Toyota has sales down 20 to 30%. Worldwide car sales are way down too, anywhere from 10 to 20% depending on which area.

US retail sales are down 2 plus percent, but depending on what stats you look at, autos -30% plus, that 2% number is far worse than it looks.

The EU region is seeing marked declines in orders and exports. Japan had a stunning 15 to 17 % drop in exports from the previous year. China had over 100,000 factories close by end of 08. The list is endless.

Of course all this collapsing demand is hitting commodities and energy. Gold has fared better overall, but is torn between central bank inflation efforts and deflation in general in every major economy. Even China is said to see possible flat growth in 09, something that they consider akin to Armageddon, as they need 15 million new jobs each year just to stay even with population growth.

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