Okay my first flagging of stuff.
Firstly we are hearing a lot of talk about a global downturn. How true is this? Is there really a global downturn happening? The answer simply is yes but it is not affecting all regions of the world equally.
The IMF in its 2008 World Economic Outlook published last in April presents us with the following information on world growth rates:
Immediately we can see that there has indeed been a secular decline in the world growth rate. There is a decrease in projected 2009 world growth rate of 24% relative to the 2006 rate. However the decrease in the projected 2009 rate relative to the 2006 rate in advanced economies is 57% while in emerging and developing economies it is only 15%. The only area where there is no projected decrease is in the Middle East which where the projected growth rate for 2009 is 105% of the 2006 rate.
Anyway the point of this is simply to show that the global downturn is hitting advanced economies much harder than the rest of the world.